Wine Law

Legal Protection of the Consumer of Alcoholic Beverages Felio José Bauzá Martorell1 I. Alcohol Consumption: Between Freedom and Administrative Intervention; II. Limitations on the Freedom of Alcohol Consumption; II.1. Principle of competition and sectoral norms; II.2. Sector limitations; II.2.1 Minors; II.2.2. Sports; II.2.3. Public order and environment; II.2.4. Road safety; II.2.5. Advertising; III. Consumer Protection; III.1. Consumer of food products; III.1.1. European legislation; III.1.2. Spanish legislation; III.2. Indication of the alcoholic content; III.3. Labelling and presentation; IV. Conclusions; V. Bibliography. I. ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION: BETWEEN FREEDOM AND ADMINISTRATIVE INTERVENTION In times of public health protection, issues concerning the consumption of alcoholic beverages transcend the consumer’s strictly personal sphere to affect the entire community. In effect, Spain, according to the dogmatic part of the Spanish Constitution (SC), is defined as a social and democratic State of Law, which advocates freedom, equality, justice and political pluralism as superior values of the legal system [art. 1(1) SC]2. In this sense, “freedom” includes the individual option to consume alcohol; nevertheless, individual rights are neither absolute nor unlimited, and they find their limits in the rights of others. Consequently, an individual’s legitimate right to consume alcohol must be confronted with the protection of health. Not in 1 Senior Lecturer of Administrative Law at the University of the Balearic Islands and President of the Spanish Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism. 2 For a general consideration on the formula of the social and democratic State of Law, see ARAGÓN REYES, M. Artículo 1. In CASAS BAAMONDE, M. E. & RODRÍGUEZ-PIÑEIRO Y BRAVO-FERRER, M. (Dirs.) Comentarios a la Constitución Española. XXX Aniversario. Wolters Kluwer. Madrid, 2008, pp. 25-52.