Liquor law changing for NYE

| 09/12/2011

new-years-eve (284x300).jpg(CNS): Bill now attached — The New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cayman may go on for longer than expected when the islands welcome in 2012 as government plans to amend the necessary legislation in order to allow local bars and restaurants to serve alcohol and play music past midnight, even though the celebrations fall on a Saturday night, Sunday morning. In the past when NYE has fallen on a Saturday, restaurants, bars and clubs have had to stop playing music and stop serving booze before midnight in order to comply with the law which prevents all license premises from playing live music and allowing people to dance on Sundays.

Although government has not yet confirmed the legislative amendments sources tell CNS that Cabinet has approved the change which will allow the liquor licensing board to grant extensions to license holders for the 2012 holiday celebrations even when they fall on a Saturday nights.

Chair of the liquor licensing board, Mitchel Welds, told CNS Thursday that although he was aware of representations having been made to government with regard to lifting the Saturday night restrictions in order to accommodate the NYE celebrations, he had not yet received any confirmation that the necessary amendments which he said would need to go to the Legislative Assembly, had been approved.

Weld did say however that there was provision in the law to allow the liquor licensing board to convene outside its usual quarterly meeting. If government goes ahead with the changes he said the board could meet to hear applications for extensions.
Until government makes the change however, Welds said there was no way for the board to be able to grant extensions on Saturday nights.  Said that hotels who are holding parties for guests only can continue to play music and serve drink as a result of an existing exemption but any parties open to the public even in the hotels have to stop before midnight.

The Cayman Islands Tourism Association said some of its member had lobbied very hard this year to get government to make an exception to the usual requirements regarding the music and dance law on Saturday night Sunday morning given the importance to the sector of New Year’s Eve.

Trina Savage-Christian said that almost since the beginning of this year the issue had been raised by the association’s restaurant owners when they realized the calendar was against them. 

“Given the state of the economy we should not be hindering business for any reason,” she said. “But also we don’t want people to leave Cayman with a bad impression as guests have certain expectations when they come to a modern developed resort such as the Cayman Islands.”

The CITA executive pointed out how many people visiting for the holidays would not know about the law and may be surprisedand disappointed something that could spread easily on the net and have a negative impact. “We need to be accommodating,” Savage-Christian said as she welcomed the news that government appears to be addressing the problem.

She also said a lot of businesses were holding off on booking bands and entertainment for the event as a result of the uncertainty. She said the news should generate some activity and perk up the tourism sector in general.

New Year’s Eve is a potentially very lucrative evening for the restaurant trade in particular and she pointed out that given the long slow season this year local business would be depending on a good holiday season to make up for the tough year.

NYE is the most profitable night of the year for restaurants and bars with owners making a significant percentage of their profits for the whole year on the one night. Cutting off sales at midnight would be a serious blow to an already struggling sector.


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  1. Peter Milburn says:

    Just one more addition to this story.Many times I have seen and heard visitors who have just arrived here on a Sat nite late or sometime Sunday ask why the supermarkets are not open on Sundays.I think there is a law in place that stops them from opening?This (if indeed is the case)is another archaic law which needs changing pronto.especially when one sees that Gas stations can sell anything on a Sunday including beer in some cases.Now on the other hand if supermarkets dont want to open (maybe due to salary situations)that is their not to do so but from what I have seen re visitors especially during peak season I am sure that monies made on Sundays would far outdo the cost of keeping the places open.(if that is not correct I stand to be corrected on this).Instances when a cruise ship comes in on a Sunday.Some shops will open and that is their right but others close also their right.Its all a matter of personal choice folks(or it should be!!!!!!)

    • Olly and his Brolly says:

      Or the Sunday arrivals who have to pay US$15 for stale bread and out of date milk from the gas station.

  2. Knot S Smart says:

    This is great news!

    Now I wont have a problem being stopped by Police on New Years Eve, going home from the bar.

    I will just carry my church clothes, change in the bar's bathroom, and head straight from the bar to church.

    Even if I am stopped I'm sure the Police wont bother me if I tell them that I am on my way to church…

  3. Anonymous says:

    if this did happen it would be a victory for common sense and forward thinking……. so don't expect it to get past caymainian politicians….

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why wasn’t this sorted out six months ago instead of two weeks before New Years? WTF, morons?

  5. Anonymous says:

    This makes sense you wing nuts or did u forget about the tourists, we should have Sunday shopping as well.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Law or no law people are still going to drink and celebrate, this is not a matter of governance but of the heart.

    Many claim integrity, honor, and wisdom and still it is those very people whose reality spells foolish, as they run around with eyes glued shut gazing into the destruction that beckons them.

    Foresight is needed to run a country, not favoritism.

    I leave my short input with this….
    We are all leaders, think about your influence on society, especially the young ones who are watching you and can’t wait to get of age and do it like you did….(now I know why some kids can come from ok families and end up criminals—poor leadership from home and community)

    Remember… You are being watched.
    Mery Christmas to you if it comes and the same considering a happy new year.

  7. SKEPTICAL says:

    Why have so many governments been unable to confront the issue of Sunday drinking, and entertainment. The Christmas problem only occurs once in a while – but does anyone remember the old days when music was banned in bars on Sundays. You could sit in a bar and get absolutely ” Trolleyed ” – but you couldn’t listen to music while you were doing it. Equally, you could not go to the cinema on Sunday, even to watch a Walt Disney kiddies movie, but you could go to a bar and get rotten drunk – where was the relativity. Successive governments have been terrified of upsetting the ” Religious Right ” voters, especially when an election was looming – 2013 ? At some point, someone has to decide exactly what stance the island, as a tourist destination, is going to take, and hopefully it is what the tourists expect to find on a fun filled Caribbean holiday.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This law makes sense. Would you rather the police scattered across the island trying to find the new years party, or just be hitting it up at the clubs!

  9. Anonymous says:

    religion is pure crap. It killed more people than anything else (crusaders, spanish inquisition…) and is based soley on word of mouth and a book (bible) which could have been written by anyone, and is full of contradictions…

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is all due to religion… why dont they just let everyone live thier lives as they want; if people dont want to go and party on a sunday, then dont… but why spoil the party for the other people…  Just saying

  11. Anne T. Krist says:

    Careful here… First there will be dancing on Sundays, then Caymanians will realize that there really is no invisible person controlling their lives, then next thing you know they will be having S E X out of wedlock, making illegitimate babies, carrying guns and robbing people, committing murders, corrupting their public officials by accepting washing machines as bribes, bringing in bales of marijuana in canoes, and who know what else. Oh, wait a minute…

  12. Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      This should make mac happy, longer dancing hours & longer drinking hours! Oh, my bad, that is why he insisted on it, that's why he enforced it.

      • Anonymous says:

        oh yeah thats why. i always see him in clubs as well as other politicians

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is pure hypocrisy and an example of situation ethics!!!

    This means that New Year's celebrations can trump the non-Biblical Sunday Laws of the Cayman Islands. 


  14. Libertarian says:

    Sunday, is a dayof rest, a day of worship, and a time for spiritual examination. Christians celebrate the day in honor of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. One that day following the crucifixion and death of Jesus, it is said and believed by over a billion people that Jesus became alive and "rose from the dead." The symbolism behind dedicating one day for the Lord, is that we must "die to self, pride, and vanity" which will cause us to "rise" to newness of life. Most importantly, Sunday is a day for Christians to honor and hallow – it is not for the State or government. Hence, government should make no law respecting a "holy day," because government should be representing all the people and not some. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Eh??  No it isn't!  It's because God rested on the seventh day doofus.



      • Too many nights, too much booze :-) says:

        Most likely after six days hard work he went out Saturday night and got trashed just like the rest of us then slept it off on the seventh day 🙂

        • Theo Lojian says:

          There is was, 5 minutes to quitting time, and God remembers, “Holy crap, I forgot to create tequila!! OK, one last miracle before I knock off for the day.”

    • Dred says:

      Truth is we get lost in the day of the week crap. As a CHRISTIAN we should take EVERYDAY HOLY. This is where me and 7th Day Adventist run unto the rocks. They are so focussed on Saturday that they forget that the same attention you give to Saturday you shoudl give to the other 6 days of teh week

      That being said do not have an issue with it because it's Saturday night into Sunday have an issue because of the ACT itself.

      • Anonymous says:

        i totally agree. this one or two hours into sunday doesnt change anything. this is the time most people would be sleeping anyway so what is the problem. this shouldnt make a difference to christian people. (yet there the ones i see up in club all the time or partyin and gettin drunk …..please). everyone is going to be judged by god so every person is held accountable for there own actions so stop watching other people and watch yourself/

    • The Prophetess says:

      Libertarian, this is how I personally feel.  If a person dont want to watch what is showing, I say change the channell.

      Christian people has got to stop trying to dictate to the world.  They need to let the world follow by their example.  By this I mean when it is midnight on Saturday, then go home to your bed and rest until it is time to go to church.  Remember many will be called and few will be chosen, so if some feel that they want to be apart of the called, and not a part of the chosen, then leave them alone.

      Christian people, stop dictating, and lead by example.

    • Anonymous says:

      The law doesn't change anything with regards to religion

    • Theo Lojian says:

      Hilarious – poster doesn’t know why the seventh day is “holy”. Please at least read the bible if you are going to cite it as anauthority for something. Jeeez.

  15. Too many nights, too much booze :-) says:

    Laws like this pander to the unlicensed drinking joints, the shabeens, bottle bars or even legal premises doing lock ins – been there, done it more times than my liver cares to remember.

    I go back to the days when the sole police officer on Little Cayman used to come round on his bicycle at 10pm (or was it 11pm?) to check that all the alcohol was locked away but five minutes after he left it was all back out again and we partied on. I also remember the packed Seaview bar being roped off at 11:50pm on Saturday night to comply with the laws – by which time we had all bought in at least a six-pack of beer and carried on drinking round the pool until 2am or later, my record was 4am.

    If people want to drink after hours they will but it tends to generate problems because the wrong people get involved (not on Little Cayman, I have to add, where it was very civilised) so why not ease off and let people who want to drink do so when they feel like it in premises that are safe and can be monitored?


  16. cayman star says:

    ahhhh…..  doesn't Dart own all the Liquor stores now except Jacques Scott?  Just saying that the Liquor Law may have to change to accomodate him.  wait and see

    • Yep says:

      Really, now, are you so ignorant or just consumed with hate for Dart?

      In addition to Jacques Scott, there's Tortuga and its eight or nine outlets plus a number of single-store retailers.  There's one just past Grand Pavilion on Seven Mile Beach.  And another that's opening up (or maybe already has?) in th West Shore Building. Stop spreading foolishness.

    • Anonymous says:

      If he wants it changed he will have Mac change it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Big Mac between a rock and a hard place. No more money to give the churches, and he needs the government tax from New Year's Eve liquor sales. He can always tell them he took it to caucus and was out-voted. lol.

  18. Anonymous says:

    don't hold your breath…same story appeared the last time saturday was new years eve and the ppm government capitulated to the churches…..

    remember we live under mckeeva..the man who wanted to get rid of pirates week just to appease the churches…..

  19. Anonymous says:

    I can't believe they have done this.  Suppose by NOT changing the law and keeping the drinking stopping at 12 they prevent someone, even ONE person, from drinking too much and driving and the worst case scenario happening.

    It could be your own.  We need to seriously re look at this and petition against this.  We don't have much time if we want it to stop though.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good point.  Suppose we save just one life my stopping people driving their cars.  Suppose we save just one life by stopping anyone diving or heck, even going out on a boat. 


      I'd rather risk my life by living it, than save it by never taking any risks.  Drink responsibly folks.

    • Too many nights, too much booze :-) says:

      Easy way to stop drunk driving – sensible taxi fares and/or a proper late night bus service. You petition for that, you get my support. 

    • Anonymous says:

      i doubt your assumption is fully correct, because if people are planning on getting drunk, they will do so well before they know the bar is about to close, if anything, they will drink more in a shorter time, resulting in the same, if not worse outcome…

  20. Anonymous says:

    Booze before God. How shameful.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can asume all the thumbs up are good Cristians and all the thumbs down are alcoholics.

      • Anne T. Krist says:

        Hadn’t thought of it that way, but since you put it that way I went back and voted for the alcoholics.

        “For God so loved the world that he gave man his recipe for beer.” Anne 3:16

    • Anonymous says:

      HOW IS THAT SHAMEFULL???? REALLY he's the one who change water into wine.  yeah i bet most peopleforget that. he changed it for the people to have with their fish and bread….if im not mistaken.

  21. Anonymous says:

    This is aweful news.  This island needs to respect it's Christian heritage all the time.  There is no sense in being God-fearing "sometimes".

    • Anonymous says:

      "Christian heritage"???????? Please spare me- this island is far from Christian… This Island is full of adulterers, liars, murders, theifs and drug dealers.. I don't think a little extra drinking time is going to make God anymore mad than he already is…

      • Theo Lojian says:

        Yeah, I was talking to God about Mac, and he’s pissed let me tell you. Hoisting a few cold ones after midnight on Saturday is the last thing on his mind. Think more about a pillar of salt behind a 10 foot wall than getting in trouble for a beer.

      • Anonymous says:

        What in hell are you doing here? I would suggest you find another destination, where you  can  disrespect anyone you choose! GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU.

    • Anne T. Krist says:

      There is nothing to fear. I have a drink pretty much every Sunday, and I frequently dance then too, and no supernatural entity has magically appeared and said anything about it. Go ahead, drink and dance on Sunday and you’ll be fine.

    • Anonymous says:

      what a joke.

  22. Anonymous says:

    this is crazy… why don't you people just get rid of the antiquated law and draft a completely new one… and you should have announced it earlier. We're off to Mexico for New Years, lads. XXXX

  23. anonymous says:

    Finally we are getting into the 19th and 20th centuries!!

  24. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    It would be a better move if they allowed music but banned DJ's. They are bloody awful.

    LIVE MUSIC!!!  FOR LIVE PEOPLE!!!  Don't give me any of that re-mix

  25. Anonymous says:

    This should have been decided from 6 months to a year before new Years eve. You really think all the tourist that come to our Island can just pick up at the last minute and purchase a ticket and make hotel reservations in 2 weeks. They have long ago mage plans to go elsewhere and spend…Again a loss to our economy with lack of vision. 

    • Whatever says:

      Exactly the point, they have been looking for a convenient excuse to allow booze on Sunday because of the pressure from certain club operators (friends).


    • Anonymous says:

      I was in GC last time on NY eve when I had to stop celebrating at 11:50 and vowed that I would not do that again. I checked it out back in June and saw that the calendar fell again on a Saturday nite and changed my travel plans. I would have gone to GC again this year as it is my usual X-mas thru NY holiday destination if I had known the law was going to be extended.  Maybe next year, GC can let us know in advance so we can once again spend the holiday down there??

  26. Peter Milburn says:

       Finally some common sense is being used to EASE the archaic law restricting celebrations of the New Year to be allowed to stay past the midnite hour.This should have been a long time ago and one only has to wonder why this has stayed this way for so long when you realise that after 10–00 or 11-00 on a Sunday beer can be sold on golf courses etc.and in restaurants as well.I certainly respect those who do not wish to participate as that is their right BUT I dont see why other folks who wish to party longer should be penalised for it.We are a tourist destination and as such should be prepared to make changes for that very purpose.It wouldnt hurt to ease the Sat nite closings year round to say 1-00am.I sincerely hope that all will drive carefully over this festive season and use  a designated driver if need be for your familys sake and the safety of others using our roads.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Time for change.

    This was already one of the dumbest pieces of legislation on the books in a tourist-dependant location.


  28. Dred says:

    Ooh Oooh. Where is the Minister Association on this?

    So. Here we are just a week away from another death on our roads which was linked, ever so gently to alcohol and a night out partying now we are extending New Years to more liquor going into a Sunday morning?

    OOh what will the Churches say? lol

    Okay if I were say Mr. Commish.

    I call a meeting with all the Bar Owners immediately. I tell them that there is no way the RCIP can monitor each and every bar and party. The responsibility should be on each bar owner to have in place services to protect the roads from being flooded with drunk drivers.

    Bar Owners should:

    1) Enhance Security measures

    2) Enhanced Monitoring of people over drinking.

    3) Implimentation of Designated Driver programs

    Police should then follow up with stops in strategic places like at the bypasses and other locations where drivers may choose to avoid police stops.

    Some police officers should be under cover into the largermore known night clubs to see how effective the bars are. Bars who are not effective should have their licenses suspended.

    • Anonymous says:

      Drunk driving can happen any time of the day… It doesn't matter when the bars close.. In my opinion, the the "driving under the influence" laws are far too slack here.. Getting a DUI is like getting a speeding ticket and if you have enough money, you can make it all go away…..

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman's BAC limit of 0.10 for DUI is higher than all 50 states in the US, higher than in Canada, and higher than our mother country of the UK.

        We are seriously out of step with the rest of the world in penalizing drunk driving. Perhaps if the penalty here wasn't such a joke then serious consideration might be given to improving safe transportation options for revelers, both locals and tourists.



    • Anonymous says:

      The churches won't say much in public. 

      Please remember that Puppet Mac gave them millions of dollars.   They can't afford the impact that  would be caused if they critcize and upset  Uncle Dart's Puppets.

  29. Anonymous says:

    yes, Yes, YES!

  30. anon says:

    Its time this outdated law for everything to close at midnight sat nite was dumped altogether.  Its stupid, give us a break man and let us live a little on a sat nite after working so hard all week.

  31. Anonymous says:

    It takes the LA at least 6 months to amend anything unless there's revenue in it.  Is this for NYE 2013?  Or are there some bar owners in the LA?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Next movement should be to allow business as usual on Sundays. I can't tell you how many tourists tell me "In our country Saturday is the night we party… then we get here, and they tell us everything closes at 12…"

    Come on Cayman we're not in the stone age!!!!!!!!

  33. Anonymous says:

    You can not dance on Sunday ?

    What kind of religion is that ?

    Why do the religious laws for religious people apply to all, instead of them only ?

    This is a country full of double standards:   

    You can not dance on Sunday, but you CAN built a governmental building on Sunday.
    Tourists are advised not to walk in bikini, but we have miss cayman contests to judge women in bikini.

    Isn't it time for religious people to apply their laws to themselves and leave us educated people alone ?