A sign warns of the coming dry law. A store sign warns of the coming dry law.

Election ‘dry law’ means at least one dry day in most states

Driest is Yucatán, where the prohibition on alcohol sales runs for 59 hours

Keeping the peace on election day is the purpose of a law prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages, and most states have chosen to implement it.

The federally-mandated ley seca, or dry law, as it is known, allows for a prohibition of up to 72 hours, but this year no one will have to go for more than 59 hours without a drink (should they neglect to stock up beforehand).

The states with the shortest alcohol-free period — 24 hours starting July 1 at 12:00am — are Aguascalientes, Coahuila, Mexico City, Michoacán, Morelos, Nuevo León, Quintana Roo, Sonora and Veracruz.

Those with somewhat longer prohibitions are Guanajuato, 26 hours beginning tomorrow night at 10:00pm; Guerrero, 30 hours from 6:00pm on tomorrow; Chiapas, 38 hours, also at 6:00pm Saturday; Sinaloa, 39 hours from 6:00pm on tomorrow; and Chihuahua, 46 hours starting at 9:00am tomorrow.

Most states will go with a punishing 48-hour ley seca, starting tomorrow at 12:00am. They are Campeche, Colima, Durango, Hidalgo, México, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala and Zacatecas.

Three states take an even dimmer view of election boozing. In Tabasco the law will apply for 49 hours starting bright and early tomorrow at 6:30am, in Baja California Sur for 57 hours starting tonight at midnight and in Yucatán, which tops the list at 59, the law also takes effect tonight at midnight.

Those who can drink and vote freely are the citizens of Baja California, Jalisco and Querétaro, where there will be no ley seca.

There is, however, some relief in some states and and in some municipalities that can adopt their own regulations.

Some states allow for the sale of alcoholic beverages along with meals, while others tolerate their sale in tourist areas or in city centers during daylight hours.

Restaurant and bar owners are rarely pleased with the dry law, and voice their opposition every time it is imposed. A business leader in Toluca, state of México, observed this week that there was no dry law for the elections three years ago, and nothing happened.

Source: El Sol de México (sp)

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