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10 Commandments for the Oktoberfest Season

O'zapft is (the keg is tapped) can be heard every year in Munich at the end of September. Then millions of people flock to the Oktoberfest to party and sway with beer, pretzels and white sausages. At the same time in other parts of Germany starts the time of the Octoberfest and fairs. So that you not only keep the Oktoberfest in good memory, but also keep your money, your driver's license and your health, we have put together a list of tips for you. If required, our legal ten commandments for public festivals can also be printed out and taken to the festival grounds in the "Lederhosn" (leather trouser) pocket.

Brezn and Beer: How to behave during the Oktoberfest

1. You shall not drink and drive.

Drive home from the fair by car? Bad idea. From a blood alcohol content of 1.1 parts per mill motorists are considered unfit to drive - no matter how well they (think they) can still drive. A road user is unfit to drive if he does not meet the requirements for road safety, even if this is the case only for exceptional traffic situations. The momentary ability of the driver to drive a car can be limited by drugs, alcohol, fatigue or whatever, now and for a limited time. The prescribed alcohol values must be observed, even if one is a seasoned alcoholic and only gets drunk at 3%. Anyone who gets behind the wheel regardless risks

  • loss of license,
  • up to seven penalty points in Flensburg
  • up to 3.000 Euro fine or jail time.

With a blood alcohol content of at least 0.5 per mill severe penalties can occur. Even those who have a lower "level" and are involved in an accident must expect consequences. Even two beers at the Oktoberfest can be too much.

2. You shall not drink and ride a bicycle.

Our second tip for Oktoberfest visitors: If you have a drink, you should not get on your bike. From 1.6 per mill, cyclists are considered completely unable to drive. They make themselves punishable if they only swing themselves onto the saddle. With 0.3 to 1.6 parts alcohol in the blood a penalty is imminent, if the cyclist is involved in an accident or endangers the traffic due to his drunkenness. 

3. You shall keep your eyes open, if you are walking around while you are drunk.

Fair visitors with a certain alcohol level have to walk home. But even here, caution is advised: Who is traveling on foot while drunk and staggers, for example, on the road, not only endangers his own health. Therefore, drunken pedestrians must expect consequences if they cause an accident.

4. You shall always return refund jugs.

The beer mug from the Oktoberfest would look wonderful on the kitchen shelf - and since you have paid a deposit, you can keep it, right? Unfortunately, no. Deposit containers must be returned, otherwise one commits a theft. Pitchers, mugs, jugs, or glasses, which are only sold at a stand, must be returned there by the customers. If uniform containers are sold throughout the fair, you have to return as many pitchers, or glasses at each stall as you have bought there.

5. You shall arrive, if you have reserved a table.

Anyone who has managed to reserve one of the sought-after tables at the Munich Oktoberfest will hardly let the reservation go. If you cannot go for whatever reason, you should cancel. For restaurants the following rule applies: A guest reserves a table and then does not appear, the host has a theoretical claim that he will be reimbursed for the incurred costs. For example, the expenses for special ingredients or table decoration. This will rarely be the case at Oktoberfest. Nevertheless, you should only reserve tables at folk festivals if you really want to go. Everything else is rude.

6. You shall beware of pickpockets.

In the crowd at a folk festival and many drunken visitors, pickpockets have it easy. Our sixth tip for the Oktoberfest is therefore: Keep your eyes open and beware of pickpockets! Keep your valuables safe and keep an eye on your purse. Though they are not really sexy, consider breast bags or store your cash in your belt. How about chaining your wallet to your paints?

7. You shall pay your own bill.

One is always the fool - at least for large rounds in bars and beer tents. Because when the round has dissolved, often individual items on the bill are still open, which the last person then pays grudging his teeth. Fortunately, in the tents and at the stands of folk festivals there is mostly self-service.

Anyone who stops at a pub afterwards, or simply for a change from the Oktoberfest should know that the last one does not have to pay the bill automatically. For large rounds, the waiter must create a separate invoice for each guest who orders. If he does not, he is responsible for the damage himself.

8. You shall watch your step.

At an Oktoberfest stands and rides are cramped in a small space. All need a power or water supply, therefore many cables and lines run through the fairground of folk festivals. The danger of tripping and falling over them is great. Even if the showmen at public festivals have to place the lines in such a way that the visitors are safe, we advise you to be careful: look where you are stepping.

9. You shall abide by the dress code while at work.

Going to work with the dirndl and immediately rush to the Oktoberfest celebrations after work? Sounds tempting. But if you are not working in a dirndl shop or in a marquee, the costume at work can have negative consequences. What applies during the carnival and the summer, has to be followed during Oktoberfest season too: in the workplace, the dress code is set by the boss.

10. You shall respect the other visitors.

The most important of the legal ten commandments for the Oktoberfest: respect for others. In the alcohol-infused mood of a folk festival one or the other inhibition may fall - nevertheless no one may be forced to something, which he, or she does not want. This is true even with hugs and kisses, dancing and swaying.

Also important: keep an eye on your surroundings. See people who need help or are unresponsive, call a paramedic. Make authorities aware if you witness pickpocketing or another crime - even outside of folk festivals.

Tagged under: Civil Law,