Booze sale law changes now in effect

| 11/09/2018 | 31 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Amendments to the Liquor Licensing Law passed by the Legislative Assembly earlier this year went into effect this week, and officials hope they will clear up some of the ambiguities relating to the sale of liquor at bars, hotels, restaurants and stores and by mobile licensees, private caterers and at special events. The changes include increasing the power of the Liquor Licensing Board to permit Sunday opening for package licensed premises. Others deal with the type of licences that liquor-related businesses have and how they comply.

Commerce Minister Joey Hew said the amendments aim to address urgent matters only.

“Over the years there has been some ambiguity and issues with several sections of the Liquor Licensing Law. These amendments were done in an effort to address some of the critical deficiencies and provide a more efficient licensing regime,” he said.

Before drafting the changes ministry officials consulted a variety of stakeholders, including the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, the Cayman Ministers Association and the National Drug Council. The ministry also has plans for a more comprehensive review of the law, taking a closer look at rules around the training of bar staff and the advertising of alcohol, as well as potentially combining the Music and Dancing Control Law with the Liquor Licensing Law.

However, the immediate changes have been welcomed by LLB Chair Noel Williams, who will be holding the annual licensing meeting this week.

“The Liquor License Board is pleased that the recent changes to the law now provides clarity to the roles and responsibility of the Board,” Williams said. “The board will now be equipped with the tools and training necessary to run fairly and efficiently.”

The Full list of the 2018 amendments that came into effect 10 September are as follows:

  • Properly define what constitutes a “mobile bar” to avoid any breaches of, and ensure the compliance of the law.
  • Allows Cabinet to provide guidance and policy directions to the Board as it related to performance of its functions, when it is deemed necessary.
  • Requires the board, before it issues a package licence and a retail licence to the same premise, to ensure that there is a clear demarcation between the areas used within the premises for each licence and that licensees are able to control each area.
  • Allows the board the ability to grant licences to non-profit organisations that re-registered under the Non-Profit Organisations Law.
  • Remove the requirement for clearly marked exits, adequate fire extinguishing systems (removes a licensing duplication that is already fulfilled when premises receive approval from chief fire officer).
  • Removes the need for reference from the chief medical officer (no longer necessary as smoking is prohibited inside licensed premises).
  • Removes the infrequently used category of wine and beer, reducing the number of categories from eight to seven.
  • Amends the terms of “retail licences”, “temporary licences” and “restaurant licences”.
  • Allows Cabinet to prescribe fees for an extension granted by the chairman of the board.
  • Permit the board to waive fees for a temporary or occasional licence for an event that is part of a national festival.
  • Empower the board to permit licensed premises covered by a package licence to sell liquor on Sundays during such hours as the board may determine.
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Comments (31)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Sunday trading situation is so confusing and needs to be fixed. I love that I can pop over to Camana Bay on a Sunday and buy alcohol, I just wish the grocery store right next door was also allowed to be open. I can leave Camana Bay and drive to any number of plant nurseries, all open, but I can’t buy a shovel at the hardware store. It seems so odd that some groups of merchants are allowed to prosper 7 days a week while others, not so much.

  2. Anonymous says:

    there’s nothing wrong with this, although maybe not far enough but at least a step in right direction…not sure why the supermarkets dont also sell alcohol, would save us time and gas….no idea why we still have ancient hours and not 24/7…just because they exist doesn’t actually mean all the bars stay open….we want tourism as a pillar, we need to match the region…..hotel bars closing before midnight is beyond insanity…supermarkets not opening on sundays causes untold and unnecessary issues for visitors arriving at the weekend….we do a lot that is good, we make some very silly decisions that are not….last i heard, nobody was stopping me eating some bread or drinking beer on a sunday or at 4am….why can’t i buy either then too? there’s no logic in it….those who’d succumb to addiction will anyhow…they have addicts in middle eastern countries where it’s illegal….etc, etc…..we want to compete, why do we handcuff ourselves?

  3. Unison says:

    There is the ignorant saying:

    “When we drink, we get drunk.
    When we get drunk, we fall asleep.
    When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. Sooooo, let’s all get drunk and go to heaven!”

    It leaves out the scary truth –
    When we drink, there are alot of “good things” WE FAIL TO DO! And that too is a sin! Perhaps a most dangerous sort of sin.


    Money and shaking hands with big shots isn’t everything. Alcohol negatively impacts societies. You may see this list as an exaggeration:

    1. An increase in assaults and domestic violence.

    2. Loss of ambition among our youth. And home related responsibilities by married men neglected.

    3. Politicians likely to gamble and get themselves into corrupt deals. It is proven intoxication makes a person more daring in taking dangerous risk.

    4. Increase in accidents, driving fatalities.

    5. Crime is increased – murders. Yes, alcohol or drugs do play a huge role in homicides.

    6. More people struggling with health related issues pertaining to the brain, heart, liver, and pancreas. Yes, a rise in cancers.

    7. There are more unfaithful wives, cheating husbands, and broken homes.

    8. You have more people added to the statistics of drug addiction.

    9. Yes, even an increased in acohol related sexual assaults and date rapes! …

    Sir, you have many ruined lives in the UK or US that are a testament to the social effects of alcoholism. I just wished you had invested your political time and energies on other matters that would have benefited Caymanians andlocals instead of the big moneymaking establishments.

    Unison 🙁

    • Anonymous says:

      Prohibition of alcohol was tried because of this mentality decades ago and failed miserably because the mafia became multimillionaires through snuggling alcohol. People still got what they wanted despite futile attempts by law enforcement to prevent.

      History repeats itself in Cayman with cannabis.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why is it that gas station tells visitors you must buy full 24 case of beer on Sunday
    and yet there are some able to purchase single cans that are then consumed just
    outside the door of the station?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Giving a fuel station the ability to sell cold (ready to drink) individual containers of alcohol seems like a mistake to me. This will likely lead to more drinking & driving. Selling take away room temperature containers may help to prevent this.

    • Anonymous says:

      How do most people get to Blackbeard’s, Tortuga etc to buy there alcohol.
      Ermmmm by car does this increase the drink drive levels of course not.
      In the U.K. you can buy alcohol 24 hours a day and there was no increase in the drink drive levels.
      It needs to be made a criminal offence min 12 month driving ban and massive insurance hike but most importantly it must seen to be socially unacceptable something it is not here.

    • Anonymous says:

      how do people get to normal liquor stores????

  6. nickcayman says:

    “potentially combining the Music and Dancing Control Law with the Liquor Licensing Law”.

    Let us think about this for a few minutes, ‘music and dancing’, something Homo Sapiens have been doing for 500,000+ years, but we need to control this? Time to move out of the Stone Age.

  7. philip says:

    So CITA did not raise the issue of New Years Eve on a Sunday? and the hoopla that we just went though, come on Joey, lets take care of this before it happens again.

  8. Shaken, not stirred says:

    Does anyone know why Peanuts only sell beer and wine and not spirits? Asking for a friend…

  9. Anonymous says:

    church voters, where are you all? why are we …..?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why must churches determine the law of this country? Go to church, read your bible, etc, but don’t force your indoctrinated lifestyle on others who choose not to partake.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or indeed, 10.14, choose to partake….but you are correct, no Church goer has the right to decide what I am allowed or not allowed to do. All church goers need to do some serious thinking about the sinners they support, the child abusers, the money grabbing and emotional blackmail-it is the best business model around which is why those church leaders want to perpetuate it. Now please go think hard, some of you might realize you have been brainwashed and emotionally blackmailed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Nothing to address urgent matter of rampant underage drinking and a permissive rape culture.

    On smoking: the terraces of these nightclubs and bars, well within 10 feet of the “public place”, are thick smoking lounges equipped with ashtrays, and the bars are often selling packs of cigarettes!

    Removal of fire code exit signs, and capacity restrictions is begging for a fatal incident.

    Many of our “laws” refer to CIG payrolled “Authorized Officers” and/or “Inspectors” that either don’t exist, or have been paid off to look the other way.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you. I wondered if a breath of reason would arise. Along the same lines, while I like LOUD music, I choose to not inflict it upon anyone else. Town & Communities supports this. Bars and pubs need to be controlled, especially those in residential areas. 4:00 a.m. thump thump thump? Completely unreasonable, and, sadly, poorly regulated and enforced.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Reading the amendments list gave me a headache.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It is good to see Minister Hew cleaning up some of the regulations. Hopefully on to the Trade and Business section next

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Peanuts. I hope you will apply for a cannibis license next;)

    • Anonymous says:

      – remove major incentive for illegal boats also containing guns, coke and immigrants

      – tourism and tax, Colorado makes millions in tax revenue from residents and tourists while destroying the cartel’s profits and funding schools

      – economy, create more jobs in retail and agriculture

      – medical uses are widely known and accepted

      – free up law enforcement resources for actual crime

      – free up some of northward and reduce its debt on the public purse

      – stop young people in their 20s from having their job opportunities and/or lives ruined over a cannabis joint while tobacco is freely allowed

      Nah, makes too much sense for Cayman.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Do I still need to purchase a whole case of beer on Sunday if I only want to drink 2 while giving you a 6-love ?

  15. Born Caymanian says:

    You mean to tell more its over a year now, and all MLA Joey Hew has done for the country, is support the money makers so they can sell more liquor??? Come on!

    All I see by this legislation are more days added to more crime!

  16. Anonymous says:

    yawn…another ppm ‘soon come’ non-update.
    i could sort this in 2 days and so could anybody with a brain….

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