Pattaya One News
Home » Afternoon alcohol sales ban rejected
Breaking News National News Pattaya News

Afternoon alcohol sales ban rejected

afternoon alcohol sales ban rejected

A government panel has rejected a proposal to scrap the long-standing ban on sales of alcoholic beverages between 2pm and 5pm, citing the risk to public health and safety.

The Thai Alcohol Beverage Business Association had requested the change, saying it would be consistent with the government’s plan to promote tourism.

The cabinet forwarded the proposal to the alcoholic beverage control committee at the Ministry of Public Health, which held a wide-ranging discussion on Thursday, said Dr Thongchai Keeratihattayakorn, chief of the Department of Disease Control, who is also the committee secretary. 

All participants — including representatives from the ministries of Public Health, Tourism, Interior, Finance, and Social Development and Human Security — and other experts were unanimous that the afternoon sales ban should stay in place, he said.

The committee’s resolution will be forwarded to the National Alcoholic Beverage Policy Committee, which will have the final say when it meets on Monday, said Dr Thongchai.

“If it agrees (to extend sales hours), it needs to amend the related laws,” he said. “However, the ministry has affirmed its stance to protect people’s health.”

The afternoon ban is not covered in the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, but was contained in an announcement put in place by a coup maker in 1972, Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew explained earlier.

Dr Thongchai said his committee seriously discussed the pros and cons of extending selling hours for liquor, wine and beer, but participants expressed concern about a possible increase in alcohol-related accidents.

Over the recent New Year holiday period, he noted, about 3,000 road accidents, or 25% of the total, were caused by alcohol consumption.

Preliminary evidence also indicates a rise in social impacts and alcohol-related criminal activity since authorities agreed to extend hours for serving alcohol in selected locations to spur tourism, said Dr Thongchai.

A pilot project approved by the National Alcoholic Beverage Policy Committee allows pubs and restaurants to stay open until 4am in Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Bangkok and Koh Samui. It took effect on Dec 15. The committee has said that more locales could be added if the initial phase proves successful.

“We have seen a trend of an increasing number of accidents and other related social impacts from the policy,” said Dr Thongchai. “But we have not seen the result of the economic impact, which might require another four months to see the picture.”

A civil society network opposed to alcohol consumption gathered on Thursday at the ministry to express its stance against extended alcohol sales. Its members said the social and health impacts would be severe, especially loses from road accidents caused by drunk drivers.

The activists plan to closely monitor the final decision made by the national committee, said Theerapat Kahawong, coordinator of the Network for Prevention and Impact Reduction from Alcoholic Beverages.

“We might gather again during the meeting next week at Government House because we are afraid that there might be some attempt made by an alcoholic beverage company to boost its business. If so, we will ask for justice from the courts,” he said.

credit Bangkok post


Pattaya One New Thailand, your go-to source for global and local news, alongside effective business advertising opportunities, tailored to the vibrant city of Pattaya.
Translate »