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24 hour alcohol ban for provincial elections part of a “ridiculous war on alcohol”




The sale and distribution of alcohol in Thailand, even parties serving alcohol, are banned from Saturday 6pm to Sunday 6pm, all in aid of the Provincial Administration Organisation elections. Unless you’re Thai, you don’t need to worry about the voting although the alcohol ban will affect everyone who lives in the Kingdom.

Having a party or a wedding on the day? No problem, as long as there’s no alcohol. Violators of the ban could end up in jail for 6 months, and/or fined 10,000 baht.

The announcement of the timing provides plenty of warning and time to stock up for the 24 hour ban if it’s going to impact you.Even though the ban has been standard practice for provincial elections, it seems to have caught many foreigners off guard who believe the ban shouldn’t apply to them.

The online response has been broadly critical of the government policy, particularly among the expat communities.

Paul said… “Just another example of people control…animal farm! Nothing less.”

Joe hit a more sarcastic tone… “Poor farang will die of thirst now.”

Chris had it already worked out… “Pathetic, just buy your booze 5 minutes before cut off and consume it anywhere you like for the next 24 hrs, so long as it not in a bar, Ting Tong Thailand.”

Joan lamented her bad timing… “My luck. That’s the day I come out of quarantine.”

Gary brought the ban on advertising of alcohol on social media into the issue… “Oh no I have just seen the picture of beer labels. I am now corrupted and drinking heavily.”

D.R. just wasn’t happy… “What the #### is having a beer got to do with putting an X on a ballot paper?”

Mark went all ‘conspiracy’… “They timed the election just to ruin Christmas.”

Y.A. saw the issue as part of the government’s… “ridiculous war on alcohol”…. “Farang can’t vote and should be exempted from this foolishness”.

Exactly why there is a ban on alcohol on provincial Election Day hasn’t been adequately explained by Thai officials but follows a generally risk-averse culture towards alcohol even though it’s generally, freely available. There has recently been a new ban on the sales and promotion of alcohol online which adds to an already broader ban on media advertising of alcoholic beverages in Thailand.


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  1. Avatar


    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Great idea. It’s very easy to get 2 and 5 mixed up, especially with some of those nasty fonts they use here. An alcohol ban is necessary to protect the integrity of the democratic process.

  2. Avatar

    Stephen Westrip

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 10:12 am

    Countries with arguably stronger democracies than Thailand don’t need to have a alcohol ban so why does the Thai government always need to do this? Do they seriously think everyone will get so drunk they can’t or won’t vote?

    • Avatar

      James R

      Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 12:31 am


      What has it got to do with you, you are a temporary visitor?

      Just treat your stay in Thailand even it has already been for years as a temporary visit as you know you have no rights so why the complaint?

      If you want a say in what goes on then go back to your own country.

      Keep in mind the fact you are there on a temporary basis as it will be good practice for when you do have to go back to your own country permanently once you are very old as it will not possible for you to get medical cover in Thailand at such an old age.

  3. Avatar

    john Smith

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Democracy………What a joke.

  4. Avatar


    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 10:24 am

    It’s their election, we as visitors need to stay out of it. I do know that is some states in the U.S. bars are closed on election day until the polls close. Also, there’s a Federal ban on the advertising of hard spirits and cigarettes at anytime. TV ads showing beer cannot show a person actually drinking it.

    • Avatar

      J West

      Friday, December 18, 2020 at 10:45 am

      Exactly, Farang should stay out of Thai politics. Respect the process. Anyone who can’t go one day without booze has bigger problems than a booze ban.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Friday, December 18, 2020 at 11:22 am

        Spot on.

      • Avatar


        Friday, December 18, 2020 at 11:26 am

        yes.Anyone who can’t go one day without booze has bigger problems than a booze ban.

    • Avatar


      Friday, December 18, 2020 at 6:18 pm

      Agreed mate.

    • Avatar

      Perceville Smithers

      Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 9:11 am

      Fed ban on advertising hard spirits? Clarify/explain, please.

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 1:07 pm

      And God forbid, the states where no booze is sold on Sundays.

  5. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    Tis conversation is making me extremely thirsty. These pollies should want everyone pissed so they make a mistake and vote for them….because if the people are sober they will definitely see them for what they are and never vote for them……hsha

  6. Avatar

    jan veenbrink

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    5th world country

  7. Avatar

    Roger C

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    Go to Patpong.

  8. Avatar

    James R

    Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 12:23 am

    The ban has been known for weeks so what is the problem? Set an alarm on your iPhone to get to Makro a day or two before and stock up, what are the farangs moaning about, erm nothing it seems.

    It is illegal to sell not to drink it.

    When I was in Phuket from January until August it was so easy to stock up from Makro as all the shutdown dates were known in advance including the virus lockdowns.

  9. Avatar


    Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 12:42 am

    Buddhist ban the selling of poison… westerners loose their sh*t. LOL

  10. Avatar


    Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    I wonder if people realize that in some areas of the US you cannot buy alcohol on Sundays. One day without alcohol will not kill anyone.

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