New plan to allow later boozing draws flak

New plan to allow later boozing draws flak

Allowing pubs to open until 4am in some tourist provinces will only increase casualties from alcohol-related causes, says the Centre of Alcohol Studies of Maha Sarakham University's Faculty of Pharmacy.

It opposes plans by Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn to seek permission from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to allow pubs to open two hours later.

Mr Phiphat has earlier said he would submit his plan to the CCSA next month for consideration. If the CCSA agrees with it, it will come into effect in October. The tourist provinces include Bangkok, Pattaya of Chon Buri, Krabi, Phuket, Hua Hin of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Samui of Surat Thani and Chiang Mai.

He claimed pushing back the curfew would boost the night economy, not increase alcohol sales.

However, Surasak Chaiyasong, deputy director of the centre, said the alcohol curfew is endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent deaths and problems from alcohol-related causes.

He said many countries have alcohol-free hours or alcohol-free days each week to reduce fights, assaults, drunk driving and other nighttime crimes.

In contrast, the ease in sales of alcohol, especially at night, can increase the number of casualties from drunk driving and assaults.

In Iceland, the road accident rate rises after an alcohol-sale hour extension.

Mr Surasak added that, according to a report in Norway, one hour extra for alcohol sales has raised the physical abuse rate by 16%.

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