Booze and music laws face major overhaul

| 09/07/2018 | 66 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Commerce Minister Joey Hew has signalled his intention to overhaul the laws that govern both the sale of alcohol and the prohibition of live music at licensed premises on Sundays. Hew brought minor amendments to the legislation to the Legislative Assembly last month, paving the way for alcohol sales at liquor stores on Sunday afternoons and to permit live music and entertainment at non-licensed premises on Sundays, after questions were raised about churches and charities appearing to breach the law. The changes also lift music bans at licensed premises on New Year’s Eve when it falls on a Saturday or Sunday.

As he presented the two amendment bills on Friday, 29 June, Hew said that the legislation dealt with some immediate anomalies and problems with the laws but that there were plans for a complete review.

He said these changes dealt with some urgent changes to streamline the laws and deal with some duplication and unnecessary bureaucracy but these changes would be followed by much more comprehensive reform in the not too distant future, which may see what is considered by many as the archaic music and dance law merged with the law relating to liquor licensing. 

Hew began his presentation to the LA with the changes to Sunday sales under the liquor licensing law. He said he met with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, the Cayman Ministers Association and the National Drug Council, as well as the industry stakeholders, and the feedback from all was considered.

“The proposed bill is intended to address urgent matters only,” he said. “A much more comprehensive review, including feedback from the NDC, CMA, CITA and other stakeholders, will take a closer look around the rules regarding training of bar staff and the advertising of alcohol, as well as combining the Music and Dancing Control Law and the Liquor Licensing Law is planned for the longer term.”

The main changes regarding Sunday sales were spearheaded by the new Liquor Licensing Board chair in April to allow gas stations and liquor stores to sell booze on Sundays between 1pm and 7pm. Hew reminded members of some of the problems that have surrounded Sunday liquor sales after the Peanuts gas station was erroneously issued a Sunday licence by the former board chair and talk-show host, Woody DaCosta, which stirred up chaos and eventually led to his resignation.

The minister said that changes to the package licence would allow Sunday trading between specific hours at the discretion of the board, as he pointed out that it would be down to the board to consider the potential anti-social issues at these premises and to impose the conditions to manage community expectations. Hew further suggested that the forthcoming legislative review would give more teeth to the board.

He commended the current chair, Noel Williams, stating that he had shown real leadership in returning respect to the board after the “embarrassing problems” that had been exposed over the Sunday trading fiasco. 

The minister explained that other changes to the law were designed to more clearly define licences and the categories for better control and enforcement. The changes would also allow NGOs to get a licence for fundraising events, and a mobile bar licence category was also created.

Meanwhile, the changes to the Music and Dancing Control Law did not overturn the Saturday night/Sunday morning restrictions except for when New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday or Sunday, which has on some years caused challenges for the tourism sector.

The amendments also clarify that artistic and cultural events on Sundays at churches or other local venues are exempt from the live music ban. Hotels, ports and airports will also be exempt to allow live bands to welcome tourists. 

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Category: Laws, Politics

Comments (66)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If liquor stores can be open why can’t all retail stores?

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  2. Anonymous says:

    I can see clearly now that Wayne is gone

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  3. Anonymous says:

    You can drink yourself to oblivion on 7 days a week but can’t go to the supermarket the same amount of time. Seems rational.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Extending hours is a no brainer and will not make anyone an alcoholic that wasn’t going to be one already….2/3am should be the minimum for any bar/club/restaurant/hotel on a Friday and Saturday, all year long..tourism would benefit, as would residential social events….and you just may end up finding that when people know they can go out later, they don’t binge drink, they don’t rush, etc…..however, i would suggest raising the minimum drinking age in bars/clubs/restaurants/hotels/etc to 21….also make it legal for every sale of alcohol in a liqour store/bar/etc to be accompanied by ID, even when it’s ridiculously obvious someone is 50+….everyone should be carded (at least once in bars, etc) and every time in a garage/store/etc….i’d also hope one day to see frequent police breathalyser checks and stops outside all malls/tourist traps/etc every evening until the last person has left….drink driving is so prevalent, and it doesn’t need to be

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  5. KY#1 says:

    Its obvious that Joey refused to consider the feedback from the National Drug Council and the Cayman Ministers Association. If he (and the others) had considered the warnings of what the liquor drug is doing to our country and young people, they would not have bend to the money-making entities on this islans …

    But he did! He bows down to them!

    These politicians encourage the consumption of alcohol which will lead to more accidents, more domestic disputes, more sexual harassments, more assaults, more risk takers towards breaking the law. Watch and see.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Experiments in other countries have demonstrated no real effect on alcoholism rates by opening for longer hours or on Sundays. Just a waste of time and so 19th century. If you can drink wine whilst taking communion, what’s the issue?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Who cares as honorable Hew knows business and we need to make money. If you don’t want to xrink then don’t. Kerp up the good work unity team.

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      • Psalm 133 says:

        Wake up Joey Hew knows what Moses and the lodge brethren tells him.

        “The strength of Freemasonry is in its loyalty to each other.”

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      • Anonymous says:

        are you crazy, it’s the religious minority that needs to tell YOU how to live your life.
        So they try to impose laws for everyone.
        Who are the worst at gossip, peek inside any church. And there is your answer.
        If they spent half their time doing part time college courses as they do in church. They wouldn’t need to ask god for anything.

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        • Anonymous says:

          So people who have morals, believe in God, and are against drugs, are affiliated with the churches ???

          Sir or Madam, I think you are a bit one-sided in your thinking ????

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    • Anonymous says:

      This more for tourism than the locals. You can buy liquor already 6 out of 7 days before I don’t see how an extra half day and allowing live music on Sundays will collapse the social fabric of the country…

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      • Anonymous says:

        Correct…cracking down on gangs, drugs (except ganja, in private), corruption, whilst improving schools might just get a result we all like.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I said months ago on this forum…the powers prefer we drink than be productive… But got nothing but thumbs down. Well I’ve got my up now and laughing. Pure rum heads running this country. The leaders just need justification and lack of education will be their scapegoat. They will never admit their faults. They will be shocked when the next breed rise and they have run out of excuses.

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  6. ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

    I’m sure tourists would like to be able to buy groceries on Sunday too. Why make it easier to get booze on Sunday and not even mention allowing the grocery stores to open on Sunday? It worked fine after Hurricane Ivan so why not change that stupid law too?

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Why have a drinking age at all if there are no liquor law inspections, and no gatekeepers willing to check for real photo ID for the minor pre-pubescent children clubbing regularly on Fridays/Saturday mornings? These should be big fines and license suspensions.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Would you stop them if they were a major part of your industry’s income stream?
      The CIG has no interest in stopping the 14-17 year old girls who go to the various parades and parties on island
      Who spend their sundays binge drinking at Rum Point
      Who slip in with older “friends” for expensive brunches

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      • Anonymous says:

        They should stop them, if they valued the local society. Its no mystery why & how the island has so many single baby-mamas .. children who then grow up with no father and when those children reach teenage years , do I need to continue>?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I work at a nightclub and we have door bouncers that they check their Id’s all times.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Sunday sales at gas stations………… because there just aren’t enough ways already to combine cars with alcohol.

    If Hew & Co. are going to change the Sunday music and dancing, they had better get the decibel level nailed down in the Towns and Communities Law. If they are still undecided, why not use the UK noise standard?

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    • Anonymous says:

      This may just be the rest of us but when someone wants to purchase alcohol or liquor, most people end up driving to the store
      I mean there are various points you could make against the idea of selling alcohol in gas stations,
      But just mentioning the word “car” doesn’t win any arguments
      Everything on Cayman involves using a car

      As long as people aren’t buying booze from the gas station and chugging in the parking lot what is the difference?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Dancing on Saturday night Sunday morning seems a lot healthier for body and soul than going to a freaky church service.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Which church has the freaky services? I’m interested in joining the congregation.

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      • Anonymous says:

        All of them freak me out. Threats, blackmail, promises of an eternal life if you are good. I also love the extortion in terms of “make a donation” so you can ensure your eternal life, and make sure everyone knows how much you put in, so you have to keep up with the Joneses. In the business world, these would be crimes.

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      • Anonymous says:

        It was not a reference to the good freaky. It was the sad, dark, tragic freaky.

  10. Anonymous says:

    We need more tourists?

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  11. KY#1 says:

    Joey is one of our politicians who would lead Cayman to selling liquor and playing loud music on Sundays.

    The excuse:

    Because some local churches and charities are breaking the law. So hence may as well go full trottle with the devil’s work!

    Note: These are the same politicians during general election, seeking votes from churches and religious people.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Church and state should be forcibly separated and Churches should not receive funds from CIG. The corruption is endless in that game.

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  12. West Bay Premier says:

    Mr. Hew is going to fix the dancing law , but is not going to touch the booze , He will make sure that everyone gets enough hours to drink as much booze as want and dance as long as you want . That’s how they are going to fix the law .

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  13. Anonymous says:

    I am really confused now, more than ever. If I understand this correct, you still have to stop music and the selling of alcohol at midnight on Saturday, only to start selling again after church is over at 1:00 pm? I am hoping I have misinterpreted this as its makes no sense to me.

    Why not extend the hours on a Saturday night to say 2:00 am instead of 12:00 am? Many persons work six days a week and Saturday nights are the only nights they get to go out and relax, but by the time they get out its time to go back home. The extension on Saturday nights would help with the illegal “sessions” on a Saturday night as people would be able to stay at an establishment until later. Wah you say Joey????

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  14. Anonymous says:

    storries like this make you realise what a bunch of backward morons we have running this place….

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    • West Bay Premier says:

      9:26pm , you and I call them morons , but they call themselves political , and wish i could say rest .

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  15. Anonymous says:

    yawn…typical ppm soon-come nonsense….
    do you job and change the stupid backward laws….
    its 2018 and some people think they can tell others(including tourists) how to live their lives based on the big book of hypocrisy????

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Can we please put food in our refrigerators on sundays too!? Pretty please!!!

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Did they fix the New Year’s Eve problem if it falls on a Sunday?

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    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      ” changes to the Music and Dancing Control Law did not overturn the Saturday night/Sunday morning restrictions except for when New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday or Sunday, ”

      there in black and white

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    • Anonymous says:

      You literally could have read the article in the time it took you to type that, dipshit.

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      • Anonymous says:

        This is another result of our wonderful Premier and the Unity team getting the job done. Having all on board is so great for our country and the continued prosperity we are experiencing. Four more years for our government!

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Joey Who?

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  19. Anonymous says:

    The CMA, and their lobby of 2500 stone-age voters, shouldn’t have any input on regulating fun, if we want to be taken seriously as a tourism destination.

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