The Liquor Ban Law: The Pros and Cons of Forced Sobriety

August 14, 2013
I want you to stay sober

Last summer, we all had to go through something truly horrific and also largely futile, the Senatorial Elections a government-mandated liquor ban. It was supposedly for the then-upcoming elections, but some of the names alone on the ballot warranted at least a couple of shots of tequila. Fortunately, the ban was temporary. This was a good thing as the election results possibly drove a few people into becoming full-blown alcoholics.

Can you imagine having to live in an alcohol-free environment on a daily basis? For some, it’d be a nightmare. For others, it’s an unfortunate reality. Just last month, City Ordinance 1627 (aptly called the Liquor Ban Law) spelled horror for all drinking enthusiasts in Davao City. The Liquor Ban prohibits the drinking, selling, and serving of intoxicating drinks from one o’clock in the morning to eight. It also removes the exemption that tourist establishment used to enjoy while at the same time introducing new penalties for those caught drinking along city streets, parking areas, plazas, and other public places. Violators are fined one thousand pesos or imprisoned for five days.

Two people have already been charged for violating the ordinance and were slapped with a two- thousand-peso fine plus an additional amount for bail. I really hope they were caught drinking something that made their ordeal somewhat worth it. It would be pretty sad if they were just sipping a bottle of dirty dish water light “beer” when the cops arrested them.

While I am not an avid drinker, I’m not a complete teetotaler. Sometimes, a girl needs her glass (or two) of wine after a particularly trying day…Still, the law’s the law. Below are some possible pros and cons for if we are ever unlucky enough to wake up under a perpetual liquor ban ourselves.

PROs:

1. Less inuman parties after work.

Because of the ban, your husband or boyfriend will get home earlier because they aren’t allowed to drink beyond one in the morning. In the same vein, call-center agents, whose work usually ends when the rest of us are just starting to think about going to bed, would probably lose the privilege of drinking their frustrations away after another grueling graveyard shift spent pretending to be white on the phone. A properly motivated lawyer could almost spin that as a violation of the equal protection clause in the Constitution. But hey, they’ll go home earlier to you.

No Beer Belly

2. Look Ma, no beer belly!

Okay, so the liquor ban probably won’t make the beer belly you already have go away since we’re still free to consume alcohol at during lunch anyway. However, the fact that you have a handful of hours less to drink after work has to play at least a minor roll in helping your waistline not get any bigger.  Think positive, people.

3. Bar owners will get creative with their drink options.

To curb the possible loss of business, proprietors will be forced to come up with innovative alcohol alternatives for their customers to drink during the hours of the Liquor Ban. Imagine being able to order a homemade Shirley Temple, a Kori Ginger Coke, or even Butterbeer. I mean, come on, I’d order Butterbeer even if there was no Liquor Ban.

CONs:

1. Loss of income for local businesses.

While bigger restaurants don’t only serve alcohol, there are places that exclusively cater to the drinking crowd. With their specialized drinks and fancy imported beers, their entire business model is predicated on people drinking (a lot). The period of one o’clock to eight o’clock is a good couple of hours of lost profits. Coupled with the Sin Tax, it could also mean a loss of revenue for the national government should such a law be implemented in more cities.

 

Drunk Driving

2. More drunk drivers at residential areas.

Nothing in The Liquor Ban says you can’t drink in the comforts of your own home. So, to avoid getting penalized, more people will just stock up on (cheaper) booze from the grocery and invite all their buddies to drink at their house. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with this, we all know we drink more when it’s in a safe place (like your kabrkada’s pad) as compared to a public establishment. Increased alcohol consumption in residential areas will mean a greater possibility of drunk drivers (in an area that traditionally has less police visibility) running over Bantay one rainy night. Better keep your dogs (and kids) on a leash.

3. More four-hour “lunch meetings”.

We’ve all had that one boss who would, every once in a while, go out for lunch at eleven and only reappear (smelling like tsiko) at four in the afternoon. They decide to get a bottle of beer with the sisig they’re having for lunch, but that “just one bottle” soon turns into two, then three, and maybe more. It takes a huge toll on office productivity. Not only does he waste time drinking instead of working, but he’s of no use to anyone once he gets back either. Because of the ban, he’ll have more reason to stay out late for lunch.


While regulation is the prerogative of Congress and our Local Government, it should always have the best interest of the citizens in mind. In this case, would a perpetual liquor ban be justified? Or is it encroaching upon our rights to eat, drink, and be merry?

There are a dozen more pressing matters for our government to tackle (such as the RH Bill, the abolition of the Pork Barrel, the resolution of the Ampatuan Massacre, and Charice’s recent, and unfortunate, choices in hairstyles), but we’d like hear your two cents on this issue. Are there any more pros and cons you can think of? Do you think such a law should be implemented on a wider scale? Let us know!

[Image Sources: Wine Gogglekcmeeshadawnoneil, bloglet, designyoutrust]

Diana Camacho Diana Camacho

Diana Camacho is a perky little energizer bunny whose idea of fun is writing a paper on the Semiotics and Curatorial Aspect of Social Media, or some other pseudo-intellectual subject matter. She is a Karate black belter who randomly says “Hai, Sensei!” by instinct, and a law school nerd who incessantly speaks in pompous law jargon. On the weekends, she plays football as an excuse to eat "recovery food."

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12 comments in this post SHOW

12 responses to “The Liquor Ban Law: The Pros and Cons of Forced Sobriety”

  1. Nico Goco says:

    An outright and widespread ban won’t be the ultimate solution. Properly implemented laws against drunk and disorderly conduct is a better option. Problem is, we really really suck at implementation. :/

  2. Carl Tomacruz says:

    Apparently, the Dutertes haven’t read up on the American Prohibition.

    • D Camacho says:

      They actually wanted to close down the establishments at 1 AM. Seems kind of harsh for the local businesses. Good thing, it didn’t fly.

  3. Lars Roxas says:

    the comment sections on Dianne’s law articles always makes me want to watch Suits 😛

  4. I think you meant to say: from one o’clock in the MORNING till 8 AM. The liquor ban in Davao starts at 1 AM, not 1 PM.

  5. Claire says:

    Good points all around but the way the pros and cons are stated are just speculation at this point. It would be great if you could provide statistics and concrete examples for some of these actually happening in places where a liquor ban has been in effect for some time. While we can’t assume the same will apply in the Philippines, it would add credibility to the arguments in your article.

    • D Camacho says:

      Yes, it’s a good idea. 🙂 The liquor ban is only being implemented in Davao as of now and and while the article was intended to be a light (and supposedly humorous) take on the matter considering the audience, I will definitely consider this as a follow up piece. Thank you, Claire! 🙂

  6. John Q Taxpayer says:

    It’s always most appreciated when students of the law like yourself take the time to explain the law in a fun and simple way to us laymen who would rarely even bother to read the law. More than writing about food, you and Pepper are truly doing a public service!

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