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Saturday, April 13, 2024

National Committee Rejects Proposal to Extend Alcohol Sales Hours

In a recent development, the National Alcoholic Beverage Policy Committee has made a decisive move by rejecting a proposal set forth by the Thai Alcohol Beverage Business Association. The proposal aimed to extend the hours of alcohol sales from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., with the intention of bolstering tourism through more flexible alcohol sale times. This decision, made during a meeting on Monday, underscores the committee’s commitment to uphold existing regulations and ensure public order and safety.

Presently, alcohol sales in Thailand are limited to two specific periods each day: from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to midnight. These restrictions are in place as measures to maintain societal harmony and safety. Public Health Minister Dr. Cholnan Srikaew emphasized that any extension of sales hours would contradict established legislation, including the 2008 Alcoholic Beverage Control Act and the 1966 Entertainment Places Act, which govern the operational hours of alcohol-serving venues.

The rejection of the proposal comes amidst a call for a more comprehensive examination of the potential impacts of such an extension. Highlighting the absence of thorough data on the economic, social, health, and road safety implications, the committee has advocated for the formation of a specialized committee to conduct an in-depth study. This study will include an assessment of areas, such as Bangkok, Chonburi, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Koh Samui, which are currently undergoing trials with extended closing times for entertainment venues until 4 a.m. The aim is to systematically evaluate both the advantages and disadvantages of extending alcohol sales hours.

In a parallel decision, the committee has approved an inquiry into the establishment of a dedicated fund for the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals grappling with alcohol addiction. Despite this rejection, the ban on alcohol sales from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. remains in effect nationwide, with exceptions granted to international airports and select regulated establishments.

The Thai Alcohol Beverage Business Association’s proposal sought to lift a decree established during the coup era, which restricts the sale of alcoholic beverages in Thailand to the aforementioned time slots. The association argued that such a change would align with the government’s efforts to promote tourism. However, the committee’s resolution reflects a cautious approach, prioritizing adherence to existing laws and a thorough examination of potential consequences.

Gautham Suthakar
Gautham Suthakar
23, born and raised amidst the allure of Penang Island, Malaysia, I'm am an adventurous journalist now set to dive to the dynamic landscape and into the bustling streets of Bangkok, Thailand. With a fervent passion for storytelling and a thirst to offer fresh perspectives, join me as I unravel the rich tapestry of narratives in this vibrant city

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