Alcohol sales curb wins nod

Alcohol sales curb wins nod

A group of students make a point after they submitted a letter to the prime minister urging a ban on alcohol sales within 500 metres from educational institutions at the Government House on June 3, 2015. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
A group of students make a point after they submitted a letter to the prime minister urging a ban on alcohol sales within 500 metres from educational institutions at the Government House on June 3, 2015. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

Alcoholic drinks may not be sold within 300 metres from a school or educational institution, according to an announcement to take effect soon.

The rule also applies to grocery stores and convenience stores but not wholesale facilities.

The exceptions are hotel compounds and shops in entertainment zones such as the Ratchada, Patpong and RCA areas in Bangkok.  

The decision was made at Friday's meeting of the National Alcohol Drinks Policy Board, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Yuthavong.

The announcement will from now be sent to the prime minister for final approval. It will take effect 30 days after being published in the Royal Gazette to give existing sellers time to adjust themselves.

Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin said after the meeting the ban aimed to curb the number of establishments selling alcoholic drinks around educational institutions, which more than doubled in some areas.

"To make the rule more effective, educational institutions will be asked to instil in students conscience about the dangers of drinking. A panel will also be set up to steadily follow up on the effectiveness of the rule and evaluate impacts on sellers," he added.

Anti-drinking groups have been urging governments to adopt the measure for seven years, citing the rising number of young drinkers, said Singkran Pakchokedee, director of the StopDrink Network.

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