Election Day liquor sale clarified

Supervisor of Elections Kearney Gomez issued a statement this week clarifying the position regarding the sale of liquor on Election Day, 20 May.

Section 89(1) of the Election Law specifically states that no intoxicating liquor shall be sold, offered for sale or given away at any premises situated in any electoral district in which an election is being held, to which a licence issued under the Liquor Licensing Law applies, at any time between the opening of the polls and one hour after the said polls close.

The polls open at 7am and close at 6pm, so the ban is in effect from 7am until 7pm.

Reports carried by some media last week suggested the possibility of applying to the Liquor Licensing Board for an exemption, but the Elections Law does not exempt anyone, Mr. Gomez said.

‘The law is explicit. There are no exceptions.’

Mr. Gomez also clarified some specific circumstances. He said hotel mini-bars are exempt from the law because they are private and not public.

Local commercial boating operations, however, may not sell or give away intoxicating beverages until after 7pm on Election Day, Mr. Gomez said, adding that the police have marine vessels to enforce this aspect of the law.

Mr. Gomez said visiting cruise ships cannot be stopped from selling liquor on board, but they can be stopped from brining alcoholic beverages ashore.

Duty free shops at the airport cannot sell liquor between 7am and 7pm either and neither can the departure lounge. However, Mr. Gomez said election officials were not going to board a plane getting ready to take off, so service of alcoholic drinks to first-class passengers would not be stopped.

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