Referendum: when does the alcohol ban begin and when does it end?

Next Sunday, citizens will choose to repeal or maintain 135 articles of the Law of Urgent Consideration (LUC), and, as in any election, the alcoholic ban. It implies that businesses are prohibited from selling alcohol, in order to guarantee the conscientious vote, for that day.

Article 177 of Law 7,812 establishes that “from the twenty-four hours prior to the closing of the vote, until it ends, alcoholic beverages may not be sold.” It is sayr from 7:30 p.m. on Saturday until 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, alcohol cannot be sold.

In any case, the law does not provide penalties if businesses violate the ban and sell alcohol outside the permitted hours.

The article on the prohibition of the sale of alcohol is part of the chapter of the Elections Law called “Electoral Guarantees”. Within this chapter other so-called electoral guarantees are numbered, one of them maintains that no one may prevent, restrict or disturb the personal exercise of suffrage. At the same time, the prohibition of public shows in open or closed premises, or demonstrations or public meetings of a political nature, is maintained.

other guarantee indicated in the law is the one that frames article number 187 where it is totally prohibited to distribute lists in police stations or place advertising inside.

On the other hand, the political ban is in force from this Friday, which includes some other prohibitions so that voters have a moment of reflection. For this, the commands –in this case of Yes and No– will not be able to carry out proselytizing activities, nor recommend by means of notices, publicity, the vote for a certain option.

The last time there was an election in Uruguay was in which social representatives of the Social Security Bank (BPS) were elected. Coinciding with the final of the Libertadores and Sudamericana cups, at the end of November 2021, the alcoholic ban was under debate.

It included the position of the President of the Republic, Luis Lacalle Pou –he said that the alcoholic ban “perhaps belongs to another era”–, and even a bill to annul it.

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