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Alcohol act to be strictly enforced in Phuket



Alcohol act to be strictly enforced in Phuket | Thaiger

PHUKET: Phuket businesses selling and promoting alcohol and tobacco will face stricter enforcement of the Alcohol Control Act in the New Year.

Operators of bars, pubs, restaurants and advertising agencies face fines up to 500,000 baht and prison sentences of up to two years for infringements of the laws.

The imminent crackdown follows a Ministry of Public Health report claiming that despite the introduction of the Alcohol Control Act in February 2008, many businesses are still selling alcohol outside of the regulated hours and to minors.

The report also claims that minors can still easily obtain tobacco.

On Wednesday, Director of the Phuket Public Health Office Dr Pongsawat Rattanasaeng and Phuket Vice-Governor Worapoj Rathasima, announced stricter enforcement of the 2008 Alcohol Control Act in the New Year with tougher monitoring of bars, restaurants and other places selling alcohol and tobacco.

A public relations campaign will also be launched with the aim of creating awareness of the dangers associated with smoking and drinking, especially for minors.

In the past year, investigators have come across many businesses that are not abiding by the law or do not even understand the laws when it comes to alcohol and tobacco sales, said Dr Pongsawat.

“So far, business operators have only received warnings when found to be selling alcohol and tobacco illegally. However, as of January, businesses will face stricter inspections,” he said.

The 2008 Alcohol Control Act states that alcohol cannot be sold at places of worship, health centers and hospitals, government offices, education institutions, and gas stations.

Venue operators found breaking these laws face 10,000-baht fines and/or up to six months in jail.

Alcohol can only be sold between 11am and 2pm and from 5pm until midnight.

Violators face fines of up to 4,000 baht and/or a maximum of two years in jail.

Those found selling alcohol to minors (under 20 years old) face fines of up to 20,000 baht and/or up to one year in jail.

Dr Pongsawat said that alcohol advertising would come under closer scrutiny and that violators could face fines of up to 500,000 baht and/or one-year jail sentences.

He recommended sponsorship of big events as a way for alcohol manufacturers to promote their products.

Dr Pongsawat stressed that the authorities must do their part to educate business operators on alcohol and tobacco laws and punishments for violators while initiating more anti-smoking and anti-alcohol campaigns and clamping down on violators.

— Sitthipong Nongkaew


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