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San José, Costa Rica || Friday Edition, November 17, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 207
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Alcohol sales in mini-markets to be outlawed

A.M. Costa Rica staff

A new bill, that was ruled positively by the Permanent Special Commission on Children, Youth and Adolescents at the Legislative Assembly, aims to eliminate the licenses the mini-supers have had to sell alcoholic beverages.

This is the law # 19916, which corrects an alleged error contained in the liquor law that was enacted in 2012.
The earlier law did not establish appropriate limits according to the legislator.

The bill refers specifically to mini-supermarkets that are located in areas of residential use, but it also prohibits the sale of alcohol in businesses that are less than 100 meters from educational centers, hospitals or clinics.

The head of faction of the Citizens Action Party, Javier Cambronero Arguedas, said the project seeks to improve current legislation to regulate the sale of alcoholic beverages
more effectively.

"The norm that regulates alcoholic beverages did not take into account the particular conditions of the mini-super. That's why now we often find people drinking liquor on the sidewalks near those establishments. What we have then is a disastrous combination of factors that causes problems in residential areas and near educational centers or hospitals," said the legislator.

Wikipedia photo        
The project seeks to improve current legislation to regulate the sale of alcoholic beverages more effectively.

Another proposal of the bill is to return to the Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence the control over the advertising related to the commercialization of alcoholic beverages, because the commission that currently has this duty has had people involved with companies with direct interest in the matter.

A.M. Costa Rica's reader opinion

Exactly WHO is setting the fines for all the traffic tickets and now, Uber ticket?

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

$4,000 fine for driving an Uber?   This is an absurd amount of money. While some gringos might be able to pay $4000 I do not know too many Tico's who could.   By setting fines so high for all the traffic related offenses, the government is encouraging the corruption of its process.   Who won't offer efectivo to a police officer when faced with a fine in the hundreds or thousands of dollars (or in the millions of colones).

The reality of Uber is that the public LOVES it for its ease of use and it's economy.  All the government employees who are taking up the red taxi banner might find themselves out of a job when their voting public decide to boot them out of a job for eliminating Uber.

One Uber driver said it best.   If the government wants to tax the Uber drivers let them do it.   Just let all the men and women who have suddenly been able to earn a living in this crazy economy continue to do so.   Tax the Uber drivers, require enrollment and let them pay a reasonable amount of money in taxes.  But let them continue to earn a living and let all the ticos and expats continue to use an amazingly convenient service.  Their cars are newer and nicer than the taxis.  Most of the drivers are more courteous and friendly.  And being able to summon an Uber with a phone app beats the taxi option hands over fists!  In fact some Ticos I have spoken to say the only way they can get a taxi is to walk from home to a hotel that is serviced my taxis.   

This is a plea to common sense.  I urge the Costa Rican legislators and bureaucrats to approach this regulatory issue with common sense.  The two systems can coexist.

Gary Keenan
Heredia, Costa Rica

Money giving L.B.G.T. people human rights that they already have

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

While our country is undergoing the effects of storm Nate we are using valuable human effort and money giving L.B.G.T. people human rights that they already have. Of course human rights are important to all of us and not just to special interest groups.

We do not need the division and the confusion that is in North America.

Costa Rica is a traditional Catholic country with those traditions, which is why I am here. Me, not being a Catholic, does not give me the right to ask them to change. In my opinion neither does being Lesbian or gay. I sincerely hope that the government stand their ground and deal with basic human rights only.

Larry T. Rivest 
Playa del Coco, Guanacaste.

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