300-metre booze ban dropped in favour of S44 order

300-metre booze ban dropped in favour of S44 order

The Alcohol Control Committee on Tuesday dropped a Prime Minister's Office proposal to ban the sales of alcohol within 300 metres of universities and technical colleges to end the confusing overlap with a similar rule recently issued by the National Council for Peace and Order.

Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Yuthavong, who chaired the ACC meeting on Tuesday, said the panel agreed to suspend the 300-metre ban set out by the PM's Office in favour of the order decreed by the junta under Section 44 of the interim constitution.

The ACC-approved regulations had yet to be published in the Royal Gazeete and would not have taken effect until 30 days after they were. The Section 44 order, by comparison, could take effect immediately.

Confusion arose because the NCPO's July 23 order stated only that alcohol could not be sold "in the vicinity" of educational institutions, without specifying a radius for the dry zones nor which "educational institutes" were covered.

Mr Yongyuth called the terms "educational institutes" and "vicinity" were more flexible in the context that areas differ.

Relevant agencies were ordered to determine exact distances between alcohol vendors and educational institutes within 180 days. However, the survey was expected to take only 30 days, he said.

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