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Police chief says too soon to determine impact of 4am closing times

Bangla Road nightlife in Phuket
PHOTO: Bangla Road nightlife in Phuket

Thailand’s national police chief says it’s too soon to determine the impact of extending closing time for nightlife venues.

Since December 15, registered bars and clubs in parts of Phuket, Bangkok, Chon Buri (Pattaya), Surat Thani (Koh Samui) and Chiang Mai have been permitted to remain open until 4am, two hours later than the earlier legal closing times of 2am.

The later closing time is an initiative of PM Srettha Thavisin’s administration, aimed at boosting tourism and the local economy in popular tourist areas. The 4am closing time at least makes it official (in some cases, many bars and clubs were already open well after the legal 2am closing times).

According to a Nation Thailand report, Torsak Sukvimol says more time is needed to determine the impact of the later closing time. He has emphasised the importance of looking at the overall picture and not isolated cases, when reviewing the impact.

Critics of the policy claim it will lead to more drink-driving incidents, sexual harassment, and violence. Torsak admits there have been some road traffic accidents since the later hours were introduced, but says there has been no noticeable increase in violence.

On Saturday, a foreign tourist was arrested in Chiang Mai for a drink-driving incident that resulted in the death of a Laotian worker and two others being seriously injured. The accident happened in the early hours of the morning, on the first day of 4am closing coming into effect.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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