Thais and alcohol are like magnets. Regardless of the occasion, Thais can definitely find a reason to crack open a can or pop open a bottle and let the liquid flow. A recent study from the Centre for Alcohol Studies under the Health Systems Research Institute found that in 2011 there were about 17 million Thai drinkers above the age of 15, or roughly 31% of the adult population.
An annual Buddhist campaign encourages people to refrain from drinking alcohol during the three-month Buddhist Lent, which takes place from July to October. In 2009, the Announcement of the Office of the Prime Minister regarding Determination of Days of Prohibition of Alcoholic Beverage Sales (No.2) was issued. Simply put, the sale of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited on four major Buddhist holy days, namely Makha Bucha Day, Visakha Bucha, Asarnha Bucha Day and Buddhist Lent. Breaches can result in six-month jail terms and/or fines of up to 10,000 baht.
Of the almost 17 million Thai booze lovers, about 7.5 million were found to be regular drinkers, according to the study, which meant they drank every week. About 2.8 million Thais get intoxicated every day or, at least, almost every day.
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