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Ley Seca

Most people would agree that democracy is a nice thing, but what if it gets in the way of a good party? That is exactly what happens with Ecuador's Ley Seca or ‚ÄúDry Law.‚ÄĚ Designed to prevent drunk voting and people sleeping through election day, the Ley Seca in Ecuador bans the sale and consumption of alcohol during a period stretching from 36 hours before voting starts to 12 hours after it ends. Since voting almost always occurs on a Sunday, this covers pretty much a whole weekend.


The Ley Seca also applies on any Sunday of the year. Stores may not sell liquor on that day. Restaurants may serve it with food only until 4 p.m. If you want a bottle of wine or beer to accompany your Sunday meal at home, be advised to buy it the day before.


Businesses that sell alcohol face harsh penalties, and most bars and clubs (and even some restaurants) are shuttered for the weekend during elections and on Sundays year-round. If you scratch the surface a bit you will find bars and liquor stores that are still open, but the punishment for purchasing or consuming alcohol is a stay in the drunk tank and a fine, so you are wise to lay off the booze during Ley Seca.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Ecuador: Ecuador Etiquette & Dress, Travel Tips for Specific Groups , Buying Beauty Products , When To Go to Cotopaxi National Park, Safety, Safety, When To Go To Lago Agrio, When to Go to Puerto López, When to Go to Tena and When To Go.

12 Sep 2012

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