Connect with us


Phuket Opinion: A sobering approach



PHUKET: Recent reports of “sobering new alcohol laws” by some English-language news outlets have led to a great deal of bar-stool conversation, as well as speculation among social media.

The truth of the matter is that the Alcohol Sales Act of 2008, and subsequent ministerial regulations, have remained completely unchanged since the National Council of Peace and Order (NCPO) took power.

Despite the distorted views some foreign news-consumers may be receiving about our tourism industry, the reality is that Phuket remains a choice location for imbibers – and in all likelihood will remain so for the foreseeable future.

While stricter enforcement has been bruited, Phuket has yet to see any significant increase in the number of arrests for such violations; nor have any local law enforcement agencies reported specific directives to conduct crackdowns.

The same is true of sensationalistic reports and subsequent speculation that enforcement of the 2am closing time in Patong will be the death knell for the nightlife industry in that town.

The real goal of the NCPO is laudable: to end systematic corruption. The fact that they are willing to take on the “untouchables” has been made clear with a series of arrest warrants issued for some of the most well-known political figures on the island (story here).

Hopefully the on-going probe will also result in warrants being issued for the many state officials who allegedly colluded with them, using their positions for personal gain – and turning the island’s tourism industry into an environmentally unsustainable laughing stock. Only when this happens can the current anti-corruption drive be seen as a true success, one with a real chance of transforming Thailand into a more civil society under its next civilian administration.

Thailand’s strict regulations on alcohol and tobacco advertising have won praise from international bodies including the World Health Organization in recent years. Sadly, enforcement of these measures, especially in “mom-and-pop shops” in more rural areas, remains virtually non-existent.

Just one example is the law forbidding the sale of “individual” cigarettes. Not only do these shops continue to sell them in this way, but an entire industry producing plastic bags expressly for this purpose continues to thrive.

All of this pales in comparison to the fact that these shops continue to sell cigarettes and alcohol to minors. Many countries have effectively restricted minors’ access to booze and cigarettes; if Thailand is ever to join their ranks, now is the time to do it.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Chon Buri13 hours ago

Faulty wiring, poor construction, unsafe materials in Mountain B fire

Chon Buri13 hours ago

Mountain B: Owner out on bail, Bangkok club inspection, viral moment

Central Thailand15 hours ago

Thai woman murders her abusive boyfriend in front of a monk

Sponsored22 hours ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

North East15 hours ago

UPDATE: Sexy Thai model fined 5,000 baht for dancing topless in club

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Poll says 64% Thais had enough with PM Prayut

North East15 hours ago

10 year old killed & 5 injured after pickup hits motorbike sidecar

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime16 hours ago

Court releases Mountain B owner on bail for 300k baht following fire in eastern Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Thailand has 5 BA.2.75 antibody-resistant Covid-19 sub-variant

Tourism16 hours ago

UK student conquers mountain in Thailand blindfolded

Home Services17 hours ago

Top 5 reasons to get a maid service in Thailand

Cambodia17 hours ago

Nigerian monkeypox case who fled Thailand is banned from Cambodia for 3 years

Thailand17 hours ago

Red Shirts lead rally against Thailand PM on August 23

Bangkok18 hours ago

Emirates is recruiting cabin crew in Thailand

Thailand18 hours ago

Netizens slam cannabis firm for encouraging underage users

Transport18 hours ago

Drunk driver in 2 hit-and-runs drags motorbike taxi 300 metres

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11