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Alcohol Control Committee quashes late-night drinking

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The request to extend the authorized hours for the selling of alcohol until 4 in the morning was rejected by the Alcohol Control Committee of Thailand. The decision was reached after a widespread push gained strength and backing from lawmakers and business operators, particularly in regions that are frequented by tourists. The committee had a meeting with Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, to examine the proposal to extend the selling hours for alcoholic beverages from 5 p.m. until 4 a.m. each day. The committee voted against the concept because they believed that there would be too much time spent drinking over the course of 11 hours. They were concerned that the extended hours of drinking would not only lead to a rise in the number of alcohol-related fatalities and injuries, but also in the number of health issues that could be brought on by drinking to excess. Victims of drunk driving and others who oppose it had already gathered around this issue. According to the data that Opas presented to the committee, the extra few hours at the end of the night could cause 10 to 20 additional deaths connected to alcohol each day. This represents a 27% increase, and he claimed that even round-the-clock police checkpoints would not be able to stop the rise in the number of accidents.

According to TPN National, the permanent secretary stated that the disapproval of the board would now be sent to the National Alcohol Beverage Policy Committee, which is scheduled to make a final decision on December 22. At the meeting that took place yesterday, the committee decided to oppose the extension and stated that they had given careful consideration to all of the economic benefits that would result from allowing entertainment venues to continue selling alcohol for a few further hours each night. They were of the opinion that the potential loss of human life caused by the 4 a.m. curfew was not worth the potential gain in economic activity. This meeting of the Thai Alcohol Control Committee is easily confused with a meeting of the Thai Cabinet that is scheduled for the following Tuesday. At that meeting, the Thai Cabinet will decide whether or not to extend the hours that nightlife entertainment venues in tourist areas are allowed to be open. Even while the idea of clubs staying open late and being able to sell alcohol at late hours are inextricably linked, this is an entirely independent factor to take into consideration and a decision to make.

It’s possible that the Thai Cabinet will rule that it’s fine for tourist areas’ nightlife hours to go later into the night.

On the other hand, this might necessitate reevaluating the hours during which late-night clubs are permitted to sell alcohol. It’s hard to believe that the club would remain open until 4 in the morning, but they’ll stop serving alcoholic beverages at 2 in the morning and host a sober dance party for the final two hours of every night. At least for the time being, the fantasy of drinking heavily into the wee hours of the morning cannot be realized.

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