Alcohol sales in public places face restrictions
The sale of alcohol in public places will be restricted under a Health Ministry draft regulation.
- Published: 13/12/2012 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
The Health Ministry board, chaired by minister Pradit Sintawanarong, approved the regulation yesterday.
Likely to take effect on Jan 1, 2013, it prohibits the sale of alcoholic drinks on footpaths, in public parks, and in public areas nationwide.
Retail alcohol sales will be permitted only from 11am-2pm and from 5pm-12am except at international airports and at licensed entertainment venues.
Violators of the ban could be jailed for up to six months and/or fined up to 10,000 baht.
Mr Pradit said the regulation would help cut road accidents because there will be fewer outlets selling alcohol.
The regulation, to be proposed to the board of national alcohol-related policy, chaired by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, would be enforced under the Office of the Prime Minister.
Officials hope the regulation will take effect on New Year's Day, a time of year when alcohol sales typically peak.
Saman Footrakul, director of the Alcohol Beverage Office, said the regulation had undergone public hearings before being proposed.
He said several public surveys conducted last year also showed most people backed the restrictions.
He said up to 80% of 5,000 people surveyed by Dusit Poll supported a ban on alcohol sales on the streets.
Nearly 83% of 7,000 people questioned in 24 provinces also said alcohol sales on the streets and public areas should be prohibited.
He said enforcement of the regulation would depend on local authorities.
"The big question is how we can persuade local authorities to enforce the law," Mr Saman said.
Meanwhile, the Transport Department has announced it will launch a road safety campaign on Tuesday to help reduce motor-vehicle accidents over New Year. The campaign will focus on drink driving.
Gen Prin Suwannathat, the deputy transport minister, said police would set up extra road checkpoints and would administering breathalyser tests to drivers.
About the author
- Writer: Paritta Wangkiat & Amornrat Mahitthirook