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Government to consider expanding 4am closing times

Bangla Road

The government could extend the number of zones where nightlife venues can remain open until 4am. So says Interior Minister Anutin Charvirakul, after inspecting a number of entertainment venues in Bangkok on Saturday, December 16.

A day after the government approved 4am closing for bars and clubs in parts of Phuket, Bangkok, Chon Buri, Koh Samui, and Chiang Mai, Anutin visited some nightlife spots on Khao San Road, in the capital.

The minister says the venues were all found to be complying with the law, ensuring the extended hours did not pose a risk to public safety.

PHOTO: Minister Anutin looking very fetching in the monochrome, patterned T with Louis Vuitton accessorised black bag.

“Operators promise not to sell alcohol to heavily drunk customers. There must be no narcotics, weapons, drink driving, or visits by young people aged under 20.”

The Bangkok Post reports that when asked if the late-night zones might be extended, Anutin says this could be a possibility.

“We are ready to support whatever will boost the economy. The operating hours until 4am increases money in circulation, employment, and even the income of taxi drivers. This is the intention of the government. But it must be subject to regulations. If it is under control and every party cooperates, we are ready to consider (zone expansion).”

Meanwhile, in Phuket, Governor Sophon Suwannarat says nightlife venues are also operating in compliance with the law, adding that 95% of patrons are foreign visitors.

Not everyone is happy, however. Dr Polathep Vichitkunakorn from the Centre for Alcohol Studies, who opposes the late-night opening, accuses the government of ignoring studies that show an increase in sexual harassment, crime, physical assault, fights, and damage to property when alcohol is consumed.

Adding to Dr Polathep’s dismay is the fact that not only did the government give the go-ahead for 4am closing in certain areas, it’s also allowing nightlife venues all over the country to remain open until 6am on January 1.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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