Starting today January 24th, Thailand’s new alcohol law kicks in. All alcoholic beverages are now only permitted to be sold between the hours of 11.00am – 2.00pm and 5.00pm – midnight each day. The announcement was made today from the office of the Prime Minister’s on the new 2015 law.Outside these times, it is strictly forbidden to sell alcohol sales with the exception of international airport terminals and some other legally registered entertainment venues.
Mr Samarn Futrakun, Director-general of the office of the Alcohol Control Committee maintained the core substance of the new regulation remains the same. It is still permissible to sell alcohol each day for just 10 hours.
The law for airports however remains unchanged, but entertainment venues that sold alcohol between 9.00pm – 2.00am now have to cease at midnight. Mr Futrakun said the reason for the new alcohol regulations, was that the old law was problematic and did not cover all aspects. The new law takes every type of restaurant and alcohol venues into account.
The old regulations allow made provision for the wholesale purchase of alcohol in excess of 10 litres to be made at all hours, whilst purchases under 10 litres could only be made at specified times. This new regulation does not permit this. The stated hours for purchase or sale of alcohol now stand irrespective of the quantity bought.
Violation of the new law carries a penalty of six months imprisonment and/or a 10,000 Baht fine.
It will be interesting as always, in Thailand to see how this will be interpreted by the police and how it will affect people and venues. It seems quite muddy to be honest. I think it could simply become a means of increasing tea money. We will wait and see.