Russia has moved a step closer to banning the drinking of alcohol in public. The country's lower house of parliament, the Duma, has adopted a draft law in the second reading to restrict beer consumption and retail sales.

In a statement, Russia's beer union said that the Duma adopted the law late yesterday (27 October).

The second reading is the last one in which amendments can be made. The process now goes to the third and final reading, the approval of the Upper House and then the president.

The draft law forbids the consumption of beer in the streets, in parks, stadia, on public transport and in any other places that are not cafes or restaurants.

The sale of beer in or near schools and universities, and to people under the age of 18 will also be banned.

The law is expected to be implemented on 1 April next year.

According to daily newspaper Izvestiya, the fine for drinking beer in the streets will be RUB100 (US$3.48), while those caught drinking vodka in public will face a fine of between RUB300 and RUB500.

Beer producers in the country believe that beer sales in kiosks, which are then drunk in the streets and parks, comprise 30% of overall sales.