Sunday’s election will be a sobering affair.
Yucatán’s dry law mandates that alcohol sales are banned Friday at midnight until 11 a.m. Monday. This affects all bars, restaurants and night clubs. Stores that sell cans and bottles will close as normal at 10 p.m. Friday.
It is traditional to suspend alcohol sales when the electorate is voting in Mexico.
In Cancun and other tourist areas, bars and restaurants often are granted exceptions so that non-voting visitors can enjoy their vacations. A common compromise allows restaurants to serve tourists, as long as they are also served food.
Some restaurants find ways to get around the law.
“LOL, last presidential election in Merida they served us ‘coffee’ in mugs with our dinner,” remarked one tourist on social media.
The Ley Seca is meant to maintain public order and to ensure that the elections are held with decorum.
The law first came into effect in 1915 and it is invoked varyingly state by state.
Establishments caught breaking the law face hefty fines and may even be forced to close.
In Mexico, general elections are held every six years, usually on the first Sunday of June to avoid conflicts with work or school.
On Sunday, voters will select the next Mexican president and weigh in on both chambers of Congress, local legislators in 30 states and nine state governors, including Yucatán’s. Mérida’s next mayor will also be chosen.