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Committee drops plan to extend liquor sale hours

Policy Committee drops plan to extend liquor sale hours

Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsuthin promised members of an anti-liquor network today that the Liquor Policy Committee will not extend liquor sales hours.

About 300 members of the anti-liquor network from Sukhothai province, hometown of Somsak, arrived at the Ministry of Public Health today to voice their opposition to any attempt to revoke an old announcement by a military junta, which restricts the sale of liquor from 11am to 2pm and from 5 pm to midnight.

The Liquor Policy Committee, headed by Somsak, was scheduled to meet today to consider extending liquor sale hours.

After receiving a petition and a report from the group, Somsak told them that more studies will be conducted on the issue and thanked them for their concerns over the impacts of alcohol.

The deputy prime minister assured them that the committee will not yet make any decision to extend the liquor sale hours, prompting them to burst into a spontaneous applause. Then they gave Somsak a bunch of red roses and thanked him for responding to their call.

Earlier, the government had agreed to allow nightlife venues in Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phuket and Chiang Mai to stay open until 4am, as pilot project, to promote tourism.

Liquor outlets have been campaigning for the government to ease liquor sale restrictions.

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