Tuesday 21 September 2021

4 cantons will have a dry law for Semana Santa

16 remain cantons have ye to decide, all others beer, wine and liquor will continue to flow during the holiday week

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QCOSTARICA – The Unión Nacional de Gobiernos Locales (UNGL) – National Union of Local Governments – reported this Thursday the municipalities that will or will not apply the “ley seca” (dry law) for Seman Santa.

Municipalities have the power to “regulate the marketing of alcoholic beverages and the consumption of liquor, on the days that civic events, parades are held or other cantonal activities, on the assigned route, and may define the radius of action

The municipalities that will turn off the taps – restrict the sale of alcoholic beverages in bars, restaurants, and supermarkets – for the Easter Holiday are:

  1. Alajuelita in San José (all Thursday and Good Friday);
  2. The central canton of Cartago (on Good Friday);
  3. Turrialba (Cartago province) during Holy Thursday and Good Friday,
  4. The canton of Alvarado (province of Cartago), which will have the longest restriction hours: from Holy Wednesday at midnight to Holy Saturday at noon.
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Another 16 municipalities have yet to inform the UNGL, meanwhile, the remaining 62 will not apply the ley seca.

In the event that 16 municipalities do not make an express announcement, the non-prohibition on the sale of liquors  applies.

Those who will limit the sale are

Prior to 2012, the entire country went dry during Holy Thursday and Good Friday, as well during presidential elections, among others.

In June 2012, the Ley de Regulación y Comercialización de Bebidas con Contenido Alcohólico (Law of Regulation and Marketing of Beverages with Alcoholic Content) went into effect, giving municipalities the power to “regulate the marketing of alcoholic beverages and the consumption of liquor, on the days that civic events, parades are held or other cantonal activities, on the assigned route, and may define the radius of action”.

In addition, according to article 14 of that regulation, sanctions can be imposed on those who fail to comply, with a fine of between one and ten base salaries.

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Up to June 2012, the national and local police forces sprung into action at 12:01 am Good Thursday to tape up premises or if possible tape up bars and storage cabinets of bars and restaurants, and required supermarkets to cover up (securely) their liquor areas, forcing people to stock up prior to the holidays.

“It should be noted that this law allows municipalities to make decisions about their territories, since the local authorities are the ones who best know the priorities and traditions of each canton during Holy Week,” the executive director of the UNGL, Karen Porras, explained in a statement.

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Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

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