Petty offences Related to Smoking and Alcohol Consumption in Hungary in the Period before 1848


The history of alcohol consumption in Hungary, like much of the rest of the world, dates back to the time before the state was founded. Smoking, on the other hand, became popular under Turkish influence in Hungary in the early modern period. Both vices were eventually regulated due to their wider detrimental effects on society and the possibility of resultant accidents. Though neither alcohol consumption nor smoking in general was strictly prohibited, legislation attempted to raise awareness of their serious consequences by imposing restrictions and sometimes even fines on perpetrators. In the absence of state regulations, many of these rules were found only in county and city statutory decrees, which were the legal regulations most often applied by courts due to a lacking hierarchy of legal references. After a brief introduction to the structure of Hungarian criminal law before 1848, the current article aims to provide insight into these alcohol and smoking regulations. In addition, a brief description of the afterlife of such provisions, through codification attempts of the 19th century and Act No. 5 of 1878, the first criminal code passed by the Hungarian Parliament, is provided in the conclusion.