U.S. State Department Warns Against Drinking Alcohol at Resorts in Mexico

Planning a luxurious getaway to a sandy beach resort in Mexico? You may want to consider packing your own bottles of booze. The U.S. State Department released a travel warning about the likelihood of alcohol at Mexican resorts being tainted. Resort alcohol is said to have caused illness or blacking out.

The warning comes after Wisconsin woman Abbey Conor died in January from drinking alcohol at Paraíso del Mar, an Iberostar resort near Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Her death was not the only incident that occurred at the resort chain. Others reported blacking out after drinking alcohol. The reports, however, are not contained to a specific resort. Similar experiences occurred at a Iberostar resort in Cancun, along with other all-inclusive resort chains.

While blacking out is a symptom of consuming too much alcohol, that was not the case for many vacationers. Some of the travelers who drank tainted alcohol reported experiencing symptoms after consuming as little as one to two drinks. Many lost consciousness and woke up in their hotel room, and in some cases the hospital, with no memory of what happened or how they got injured.

Furthermore, the alcohol causing the blackouts are not limited to one specific type. Incidents occurred after drinking tequila, rum, and even beer. It is highly likely that the alcohol being served is illegally produced. Illegally produced liquor poses a dangerous threat as it's not held to strict regulatory standards.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 43 percent of alcohol served in Mexico is illegally produced. That leaves consumers at risk for consuming liquor with high levels methanol that pose a serious threat.

If you are going to Mexico, know what you're drinking. The U.S. State Department warns that "if you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so in moderation and to stop and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill."

Watch all beverages being poured and order name brands you know. A sealed bottle of beer is your best option, although there is no guarantee that what you're drinking is truly what the label says. When in doubt, bring your own alcohol (or stay away from it altogether) and avoid the risk.

To find out more about safety warnings when traveling to Mexico, please refer to the U.S. Passport & International Travel information page.

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