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Alcohol in Vekllei

πŸ“‘Table of Contents
Part of the bulletin series of articles

Summary

  • Vekllei people like alcohol, and in their society it is widely available at no cost.
  • These facts set the country up for catastrophe: alcohol abuse is a social disease that destroys lives and deeply impacts communities.
  • Consequently, its consumption as enabled by the system must also be curbed by the system. This is helped by considered policy, but the Vekllei government targets another aspect of control: culture.
  • As such, alcohol is an interesting case study in how the country attempts to encourage social behaviours more broadly.

Vekllei people, like many others around the world, like to drink. As a feature of their society and its social economy, alcohol is free and available. They drink often and socially, and wine, beer and spirits are an important lubricant of conversation and merryment around the country.

Like any product of pleasure, however, unrestricted availability poses a grave danger to the health of their society. The dangers are straightforward – alcohol encourages all kinds of antisocial behaviours, and risks developing into chronic addiction that can ruin lives and destroy families. In this context, the tension between Vekllei’s laissez-faire society and the common good are most pronounced, precisely because alcohol wears down the social norms that facilitate their close-knit and codependent way of life.

The solution they practice is twofold:

Control through policy #

Vekllei has controls on both the supply and consumption of alcohol. Public drunkenness, as well as adjacent antisocial behaviours, are a crime with straightforward legal repercussions. Onetime drunkenness in the street might result in a few hours of community service.1 Antisocial offences motivated by alcohol consumption carry weightier punishments. Repeat offending easily results in direct state intervention, and may manifest as time in rehabilitation centres or even compulsory clinics.

Vekllei also has strict laws on the service of alcohol. It has to be provided by licensed establishments.2 These laws also dictate responsible provision of alcohol. It is illegal to:

  • Permit drunkenness on the premises
  • Serve alcohol to drunk people
  • Allow people who are violent, quarrelsome, disorderly or behaving indecently on licensed premises

While drinking at home is common and perfectly legal, offences committed in the home under the influence of alcohol aggravate legal sentencing dramatically. There is, in general, very little tolerance for antisocial behaviour under the influence of alcohol.

Control through culture #

Perhaps more important, and often overlooked, is the way Vekllei uses policy indirectly to influence drinking culture. These approaches are often unassuming, and lie outside the legal system. Despite its firm hand on the supply of alcohol, for example, Vekllei has no minimum drinking age at home.3 In fact, from fourteen years old, students may choose to have a small cup of red wine with their school meals.

With guidance from government and industry, Vekllei society has attempted to minimise the harmful effects of binge drinking by, essentially, spreading out alcohol consumption throughout the day. Workplaces often serve aperitifs in the afternoon, and some wine with dinner is expected. Vekllei cuisine also pairs liqueurs with meals – it is not inappropriate or unusual to have enjoy alcohol in professional lunches, so long as you do not become drunk. People are expected to self-regulate, and those who don’t (or cannot) run into trouble quickly.

Consuming smaller amounts more commonly has been shown, in most cases, to provide better outcomes for both health and behaviour. Introducing moderation to teenagers through school has also helped reduce the rates of early binge drinking in the country.

This is not to suggest that these two methods have resolved antisocial drinking or prevented alcoholism – this is not the case. Vekllei is a large and diverse country, and though its quality of life has improved dramatically, the control of access to alcohol is not perfect, nor would perfect control totally prevent the disease of alcoholism. Vekllei ranks 13th for alcohol consumption per capita, and tens of thousands of Vekllei people die a year drinking it. They are a country that likes to drink, and they have poorer health for it.

What it does suggest, however, is the overall outline of Vekllei’s approach to fostering a strong civic culture in their social economy. The whole system is predicated on it, because happy communities foster their own productivity and improvement. Their dual approach – reinforcement of good (or at least preferable) habits through culture and restriction of bad ones through law – is typical of the country’s approach to social disease.


  1. Community service in Vekllei is more or less equivalent to community service overseas. It is a light punishment, usually applied to misdemeanours and minor offences, that requires certain hours of work to alleviate the (usually antisocial) offence. The type of work required is scaled to the seriousness of the offence. ↩︎

  2. In Vekllei, these are usually cafes, pubs, restaurants and bars, in that order of availability. Noncompliance with alcohol laws are a fast way to having your business shut down. ↩︎

  3. Although Vekllei has no minimum drinking age, no licensed establishments will serve people under 16 (and usually 18) years of age. In practice, most municipalities are self-regulating, and have their own laws around alcohol consumption. There are also laws against the provision of alcohol by adults to people underage. ↩︎