New liquor law bans drinking in the streets
Costa Rica’s new liquor law implements an open container ban putting an end to drinking in the streets. The law, which went into affect last Wednesday, calls for a ₡180,000 fine ($360) for drinking alcohol in public.
The Regulation and Marketing of Alcoholic Beverages Law does allow public drinking at sanctioned activities such as civic festivals, fairs and other public events.
The legislation also affects the way alcohol is licensed and sold in the country, according to the daily La Nación.
President Laura Chinchilla signed the bill into law on June 25, and it became official after it was published on Aug. 8 in the government newspaper La Gaceta.
Sanctions also include a ₡5.4 million ($10,800) fine for businesses caught selling liquor to minors.
Another major change in the law gives more power to municipalities to issue and benefit from liquor licenses. Before the law, a limited number of liquor licenses could be sold from one entity to another. The government believed this system led to a type of black market for liquor licenses, and the new law prohibits transferring licenses.
Instead, municipalities will decide who is awarded a permit to sell liquor.
San José Mayor Johnny Araya told La Nación that, “The rule allows for more flexibility with the municipalities. They will be able to regulate revenue and control liquor licenses. Instructions already have been issued to inspectors and the municipal police so that they can enforce the law.”
You may be interested
Give green in Costa Rica: holiday gifts that will live on all yearEd Bernhardt - December 16, 2017
A warm holiday greeting from the garden to all our readers. Another year has come to an end, and it’s…
Honduran opposition protesters take to the streetsNoe Leiva / AFP - December 15, 2017
Supporters of the leftist opposition in Honduras blocked streets in various cities around that country on Friday, despite political repression,…
Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, CanadaGustavo Díaz Cruz - December 14, 2017
My mom named me Gustavo Adolfo. I was born in Puntarenas, next to the sea, but my home was in…