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Officials launch drink driving campaign, no “4am closing” decision

Stock photo: Wikimedia Commons

The low down on this year’s celebrations – don’t drink and drive, and expect (officially) nightspots to close at 2am.

The Thai authorities have launched a campaign against drink driving ahead of the end of year holiday period, while Cabinet delays (again) making a decision on extended opening hours for nightlife. According to a Bangkok Post report, the National Alcoholic Beverage Policy Committee has pledged to reduce the number of drink-driving accidents through a nationwide campaign.

Meanwhile, Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha has confirmed that a proposal to extend closing time for nightlife from 2am to 4am has not been given Cabinet backing. The proposal was put forward by the Tourism Ministry in an attempt to boost the local economy in tourist destinations. A similar proposal requested extending alcohol sales from midnight to 2am and getting rid of the law that bans the sale of alcohol between the hours of 2pm and 5pm.

“Many researchers have found that extended alcohol selling hours can lead to higher consumption of alcohol, which potentially results in a higher risk of violent crimes. Therefore, the National Alcoholic Beverage Policy Committee agreed to maintain the existing measures.”

According to Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong from the Department of Disease Control, there were 2,707 road traffic accidents around the country between December 29 last year and January 4 this year. These resulted in 2,672 casualties and 333 deaths. Over 29% of the accidents were caused by drunk drivers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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