Law-breaking vendors put “on notice’

PHUKET: Undercover inspectors are visiting shops and stores to check that they are not selling alcohol outside the permitted times or alcohol and cigarettes to minors, Wisut Romin, the Deputy Secretary of Phuket Provincial Administration Office, has told the Gazette.

Said K. Wisut, “The 253rd declaration of 1972 Revolutionary Council states that shops having liquor licenses are allowed to sell alcohol only between 11 am and 2 pm and 5 pm and midnight.”

This law applies only to shops, said K. Wisut. Entertainment venues can sell alcohol at any time during the hours they are allowed to open.

He added, “Shopkeepers who are breaking law and selling cigarettes and alcohol to under-18s and alcohol outside permitted hours have been put on notice that we are watching them.”

K. Wisut also said that the government is offering a reward for tip-offs from the public.

“Members of the public who report a shop that is found to be breaking the law can expect to receive a bounty of up to 30% of the fine levied on the shop, and that has been an incentive for people to report shopkeepers to us.”

Vendors found to have sold alcohol or cigarettes to minors can be fined up to 30,000 baht, jailed for up to three months, or both. Minors caught buying alcohol and cigarettes will have to do community service.

Shopkeepers caught selling alcohol outside permitted hours will be banned from selling alcohol for a period determined by the Governor’s Office.

Meanwhile, in a move that will be welcomed by many of the island’s residents, owners and managers of “noisy” and “dark” bars are being warned to clean up their acts – or face temporary closure.

The Ministry of the Interior has announced that, from Saturday, officials will be monitoring the volume of noise emanating from entertainment venues, and checking that venues are adequately ventilated, as part of a nationwide clean up.

K. Romin explained, “Noise must not exceed 91 decibels, while the venue should be properly lit and ventilated, and there should be proper emergency exits, too.”

He said those who infringe the regulations will be fined 100 baht.

“It’s not a great deal of money,” he said, “but we will keep records of who has been punished. In the case of persistent offenders, we will get an order from the Governor to have them closed down for, say, 15 or 30 days.”

Phuket News
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