The health ministry appears to be tying itself in knots trying to appease anti-drink-drive campaigners while allowing nightlife venues to remain open until 4am. The latest proposal is that bars and clubs that adopt the new hours should be required to breathalyse customers before they leave and find them transport home to stop them driving.
From December 15, nightlife venues in parts of Phuket, Bangkok, Chon Buri and Chiang Mai can remain open and sell alcohol until 4am. The extended hours are aimed at boosting tourism and the economy during the peak season. However, some who oppose the idea have voiced concerns about a potential rise in drink-driving incidents.
In response to those concerns, Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew is now proposing putting the onus on nightlife operators, who would have to breathalyse anyone who seems intoxicated when leaving. If testing shows they are over the limit, the venue would have to stop them from driving. He says some Western countries have adopted a similar practice (although he didn’t name any).
Cholnan says the new law would require nightlife operators to find alternative transport home for customers who are too drunk to drive. He did not specify what the penalties might be for bars and clubs that fail to adopt the new practice.
Question is… who, at these venues, is going to take responsibility for conducting the tests and informing the customers that they can’t drive home or have another drink. Probably not going to happen. What do you think?
SOURCE: Bangkok Post