New legislation in Quintana Roo limits the hours in which alcoholic beverages can be sold in stores, bars and clubs.
According to the law, which takes effect February 10, the sale of intoxicating drinks in sealed containers in convenience stores and supermarkets will be prohibited after 11:00pm.
Approximately 600 stores in the state paid extra money for permits to sell sealed beverages until 2:00am in 2018 on contracts through September of last year. Local governments decided to offer extended contracts through January until the new legislation went into effect.
Playa del Carmen city treasurer Jorge Manuel Gutiérrez Sánchez told the news service SIPSE that as of February, extended hours past 11:00pm will not be renewed for supermarkets and convenience stores like Oxxo.
Last call for bars and clubs will also be 11:00pm, though establishments located in the downtown areas of Quintana Roo’s main cities and in the hotel districts of Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres and Tulum have the option paying an additional fee for permission to serve until 3:00am.
Businesses that wish to renew an alcohol license must also comply with new safety measures.
Juan Pablo Aguirre de la Torre, former director of the restaurant industry association Canirac, warned the new law could negatively affect the restaurant industry and complained that owners of establishments that sell alcohol were not consulted about the law’s safety guidelines.
The head of a legislative watchdog group said those guidelines include a measure to revoke an establishment’s alcohol license for up to six years in the event of a violent incident on the premises.
Eduardo Galaviz Ibarra warned that could discourage businesses from reporting violent crimes for fear of losing their license.
“For the sake of safety we must work together in an organized fashion, and not in the improvised way [this law was implemented],” said former Canirac director Aguirre.