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Schweinfurt restricts nighttime alcohol sales

GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — Another Army garrison in Germany has restricted the sale of packaged beer, wine and spirits on post, joining a list of U.S. military installations in Europe aiming to curb alcohol-related incidents.

On Feb. 18, the shoppette convenience store on Conn Barracks in Schweinfurt stopped selling alcohol between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m., said Nathan Van Schaik, a garrison spokesman. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which runs the shop, agreed to the prohibition after a request from garrison commander Lt. Col. Michael Runey, Van Schaik said.

The request followed a garrison study on preventing high-risk behavior, Van Schaik said. The garrison counted 74 driving-under-the-influence cases in 2012, a 22 percent increase from the previous year, Van Schaik said.

The hours of the ban were carefully chosen, he said.

“One, it reflects the time that the German convenience stores and (beverage stores) stop selling alcohol,” he said. “And then two, perhaps most important, that’s the time when help is least available to high-risk soldiers and family members.”

Following agreement on the ban, the store reduced its overall hours, according to Van Schaik, and now closes at midnight on Monday through Saturday and 10 p.m. on Sunday. The store was previously open 24 hours a day.

AAFES has limited alcohol sales in at least three other installations across Europe following commanders’ requests. Spangdahlem Air Base prohibited late sales in 2009; Kaiserslautern Military Community instituted a 90-day suspension in December and a ban went into effect at the Army garrison in Grafenwöhr earlier this month.

The Schweinfurt garrison, scheduled to close by fall 2014, counts 3,500 soldiers and 8,000 civilians on its two posts.
 

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