Thursday, August 23, 2012

Costa Rica: New Open Container Law a Reminder to Ask If Drinking in Public is Legal in Other Countries

According to La Nación, effective August 8, offenders of a new open container law in Costa Rica could be fined up to US$360 for drinking alcoholic beverages on the street. The law also establishes a new system for distributing liquor permits.

COMMENT: The Regulation and Marketing of Alcoholic Beverages Law does permit public drinking at sanctioned activities such as civic festivals, fairs and other public events.

Sanctions also include a ₡5.4 million (US$10,800) fine for businesses caught selling liquor to minors.

I bring this topic up not only because it directly affects the huge number of tourists and expats who travel to and live in Costa Rica, but as a reminder for tourists and travelers everywhere to ask whether drinking in the streets is legal in the countries they are traveling in BEFORE THE FACT.

As many of our readers know, fines can be huge in some countries and payment is expected after being cited by a police officer, otherwise violators could face arrest.