Remember the law that says that liquor in hotels, restaurants and bar has to be sealed during election day? Well, the tourism sector here has a word for the measure: “Absurd.”

162075_ley-seca-licor-cervezas-210313Actually, only a minority of municipal governments are observing the law this year: 12, to be exact. It once was the law of the land but then was left up to canton governments. The majority of cantons view it much as the Tourism Chamber does — as antiquated as the U.S. Prohibition.

[quote]Voting and ‘dry law’ coincides with America’s biggest sporting event, Superbowl![/quote]

But for San Jose, the municipal council has gone the whole hog — no liquor sold on the day before election day (Feb. 2) and the whole day afterward. For the other 12 it’s only Feb. 2 (Sunday): Alajuela, Aserri, Cartago, Guácimo, Los Chiles, Upala, Atenas, San Ramon, Corredores, Poás, Peñas Blancas and Dota.

But what sticks in the craw, says the Tourism Chamber, is that this says a fancy restaurant can’t serve wine with a tourist’s meal. For this reason, another 12 decided beforehand definitely NOT to prohibit liquor sales: Desamparados, Escazú, Tibás, León Cortes, Naranjo, Buenos Aires, Parrita, Garabito, Golfito, Talamanca, Moravia, La Cruz and Turrialba.

The ban on liquor was eliminated from the Electoral Code in 2009, leaving the decision up to canton governments. But the Chamber says that municipal governments apparently did not take tourism into consideration. The chamber also observes not making it a national law dilutes the “spirit,” pardon the pun.

The Costa Rican Chamber of Restaurants called it, more elegantly, “a judicial incongruity,” but their point was the same. Naturally, the hotel chamber concurs.

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