The dry decree

IT IS WRITTEN. In Spanish. Just because you are a foreigner who has not bothered to learn the national language does not excuse you from obedience. This is the dry law part of the national state of emergency decree.

“The distribution, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages are prohibited throughout the national territory while the State of Emergency is in effect”

acknowledgement and comment by Eric Jackson

If we are to be kept at home for a year and a half, this doesn’t work so well. Alcohol prohibition never has.

But if it’s something to be formally relaxed after a little while, or something kept on the books but mostly a dead letter, that could work. Perhaps Panama NEEDS a few days to dry out and adjust attitudes.

Figure on a probable increase in domestic violence cases during the quarantine, and a limit on judges being able to kick the guy out of the house. But if the police respond to a domestic violence call, they need not have her complaint to make an arrest that sticks if there is alcohol on his breath.

Plus, with a bit less drunkenness society tends to get a corresponding bit less violence. That’s the nature of that generally legal in Panama drug, alcohol.

There is the remnant of a bottle of someone else’s booze that was left in my kitchen long ago. If I set aside my aversion to such rotgut and slug a bit of it down, might I be arrested? I suppose I might. However, I don’t expect that the police have the resources to go randomly barging into people’s homes to look for people drinking while the quarantine is in effect.

(And all you hardcore alcoholics — do you really have to post your withdrawal symptoms on Facebook?)


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