The Thai Alcohol Control Committee opposed a proposal to extend the legal hours for selling alcoholic beverages to 4 AM, citing a potential rise in traffic accidents.
Dr. Opas Karnkawinongpop, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, revealed to Thai reporters today, November 25th, after completing a meeting with the Alcohol Control Committee that the committee initially opposed the idea of allowing the sale of alcohol from 5 PM to 4 AM.
The committee said it was too long because it meant alcohol could be sold for 11 hours per day, which could increase alcohol-related health problems, injuries, and casualties.
Dr. Opas stated the chance of drunk-driving-related accidents could also rise by more than 27% or 10-20 casualties per day if alcohol was allowed to be sold from 5 PM to 4 AM despite all-night police checkpoints.
The Thai Alcohol Control Committee had already considered the economic benefits of the proposal, but still had agreed that the extension should not be mandated, Dr. Opas added.
Nonetheless, the committee’s objection was only a suggestion, which would be forwarded to the National Alcohol Beverage Policy Committee for consideration on December 22nd.
Dr. Opas said the objection against extending alcohol sale hours had nothing to do with another proposal to extend the legal closing hours for entertainment venues.
Technically, the two rules are separate notes TPN media, and even if the Thai Cabinet agrees to extend nightlife closing hours in theory alcohol sales hours would also need to be legally extended.
The Thai Cabinet is set to meet Tuesday, November 29th, to discuss extended nightlife hours in tourism zones.