The San Pedro Police Department, San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board will once again be enforcing a ‘dry’ Good Friday. No stores, supermarkets, bars or restaurants are allowed to sell alcoholic beverages from Thursday, April 2nd at midnight to Friday, April 3rd at midnight. Only hotels will be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages, and even then, it will be to bona fide guests only. In addition, residents are not allowed to drink in any public area. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is strictly limited to the confines of their home where it cannot be visible to the public.

In order to enforce the regulation, police officers will be dispatched to carry out patrols across the island. All liquor shops and bars must be closed. Grocery stores and restaurants are allowed to be open but no alcoholic beverages can be on display. Stores that do not abide by the law will be closed immediately. Persons caught drinking in public areas or illegally selling alcoholic beverages will be arrested and detained until they appear before the court on Tuesday, April 7th.

In addition Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott has indicated that any restaurant caught selling alcoholic beverages will face serious criminal charges, including the confiscation of all liquor and beer inventory and a summons for charges. SPTC has also indicated that infractions to the regulations will result in the removal of the establishment’s liquor license.

The dry Good Friday is mandated under the Intoxication Liquor Licensing Act Chapter 150 of the Laws of Belize section 27 states:

(1) All licensed premises in which liquor is sold under a publican’s general license shall be closed- (a) on Christmas Day and Good Friday

(2) All licensed premises in which liquor is sold under a malt liquor and cider license shall be closed- (a) on Christmas Day and Good Friday;

(3) Any person who during the times at which any licensed premises are required by this section to be closed- (a) sells or exposes for sale in such premises any liquor; or (b) opens or keeps open such premises for the sale of liquor; or (c) allows any liquor, although purchased before the hours of closing, to be consumed on such premises, is guilty of an offence and is liable for a first offence to a fine not exceeding fifty dollars, and for any subsequent offence to a fine not exceeding one hundred.

Jemmott also took the opportunity to remind all residents and visitors that driving under the influence will not be tolerated throughout the Easter weekend. The San Pedro Police and the San Pedro Traffic Department will be conducting traffic check points throughout the course of the weekend to prevent driving infractions.

The San Pedro Police and San Pedro Town Council would like to wish everyone on the island a safe Easter Holidays.

For emergencies contact: San Pedro Police Department at 206-2022, San Pedro Fire Department at 206-2372, Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic at 226-2536 and medical emergencies at 660-2871.