Booze 'too easy to buy' for uni students

The problem of alcohol being sold near universities remains prevalent, with 340 retailers found within a 300 metre radius of 12 tertiary institutions in Bangkok, a survey by the anti-alcohol youth network revealed Thursday.

  • Published: 12/09/2013 at 05:50 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

About one-third, or 105, of the 340 pubs and shops selling alcoholic beverages were found to be located in the premises of apartment buildings, which violates the Alcohol Control Act, the survey found.

There were an average of 28 liquor-selling outlets per university, Theerapat Kahawong, the network‘s coordinator, said.

File photo

The 12 institutes are Ramkhamhaeng University, Kasetsart University, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok Technical College, Dhurakij Pundit University, Siam University, Chandrakasem Rajabhat University, Ban Somdej Chao Phraya Rajabhat University and Ratchaphruek College.

Mr Theerapat said the Public Health Ministry has been advocating a bylaw to ban alcohol sales from within 500 metres of educational institutes and temples for years, but the legislation is yet to be approved by the National Alcohol Policy Committee.

He was speaking at an event to discuss the "unsolved problem” of alcohol outlets near educational institutions, held by anti-alcohol groups and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation and attended by 60 students from various universities.

Mr Theerapat urged government to expedite the process of passing the bylaw, to reduce the rate of new drinkers among young people and stop adverse effects from alcohol consumption.

In an opinion poll of 1,608 university students conducted by the network, he said 74.75% of respondents agreed that having outlets selling alcohol near educational institutes would encourage young people to consume it.      

The poll showed young people thought that the top three problems stemming from bars operating near universities include the potential for brawls, cited by 39.73% of respondents, a detrimental effect on young people's studies, mentioned by 20.28%, and disturbances caused by loud music, cited by 12.87%.  

Benjaporn Buasamlee, a social science lecturer at Huar Chiew Chalerm Phrakiet University, said a study she conducted in 2012 found an increase in the number of students going to bars near their universities.

In the research on the location of alcohol stores near to universities, she said 80% of students considered pubs to be meeting places for they and their friends. She urged university managers to address the issue.

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Writer: Sawitree Raksasit

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