Spain aims for dry season

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Spain plans to fine teenagers who drink alcohol in the street up to €600 (£375) and those who sell alcohol to minors up to €135,000 in an attempt to stamp out open-air drinking sessions known as the botellon or "big bottle".

An Interior Ministry paper leaked to the press yesterday also proposes punishments of community service, withdrawing driving licences and, crucially, raising the age of alcohol consumption from 16 to 18.

Police began clamping down several months ago after complaints of filth and violence in city centres as youngsters swigged into the early hours. As the weather improves and the fiesta season gets going, festivities are often disrupted by roaring teenagers fuelled by all-night off-licences.

Three police were injured and three people detained in disturbances in Cadiz at the weekend, when drinkers attacked shops in protest at bars' earlier closing times.

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