Connect with us


Phuket booze ban confusion comes with officers’ discretion

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: As is routine upon introduction of poorly formulated new rules and regulations in Thailand, confusion reigned again yesterday when a new law dictating an alcohol ban around educational institutions came into effect.

“My initial understanding was that the law would name only universities and technical colleges as ‘educational institutions’. This would be better, as many big businesses, such as Central Festival Phuket, would be affected if the ban applied to all ‘schools’,” said Phuket Excise Office (PEO) Chief Pairuch Kulima. “However, the law that has come into effect does not clarify what constitutes an ‘educational institution’. In fact, it doesn’t even tell us how wide the no-alcohol buffer zone has to be.”

Lack of any clarity about the definition of ‘educational institution’ has been at the heart of the issue since the law was approved by Cabinet in July. At the time, the ‘booze belt’ around educational institutions was set to be 300 meters (story here).

“Because the law only uses the [mud-soaked] term ‘nearby’, it means that enforcement will come down to the discretion of police officers,” said Mr Pairuch in frustration. “Also, the lack of clarity about educational institutions means that it should be applied to all schools, colleges, universities and other places of learning.”

In Phuket, there are 106 primary educational institutions, four technical colleges and two universities, as well as 122 private schools, according to the Phuket Primary Educational Service Office.

“Since we are unclear about how [on earth] to proceed with enforcing the law, we have yet to take any action,” Mr Pairuch admits.

However, as a preemptive measure the provincial government and Phuket Rajabhat University launched a one kilometer (radius) “Campus Safety Zone” last month with the goal of eliminating alcohol and drug use, as well as prostitution and gambling, in the area (story here).

“Rajabhat University’s campaign is a pilot project, so relevant officers will be checking in with them next week to see how successful it has been,” Mr Pairuch says. “We will use whatever information they have gathered and look at what can be applied elsewhere on the island.”

Mr Pairuch noted that some government officers, apparently in recognition of a high-potential business opportunity, were already discussing the wiggle room available in the new law — and the possibility of allowing businesses that already have permits to sell alcohol within the (undefined) booze-ban zones to continue to do so.

— Kongleaphy Keam


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


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:

Expats1 hour ago

List: China has over 50% of all foreign-owned condos in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

World7 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Vaccine deaths investigation, PM heads to Phuket, BMA extends vendor licences | June 18

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand7 hours ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Drugs7 hours ago

1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine and heroin seized near Malaysian border

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Pattaya bars plead for government help

Thailand8 hours ago

Colour-coded zoning revised, restrictions to ease nationwide

Transport8 hours ago

Department of Land Transport will reopen, issue licenses

Best of8 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Chiang Mai

Tourism9 hours ago

Krabi schedules 82 flights per week from late October

Best of9 hours ago

Top 6 Online Forums in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand9 hours ago

Worker falls off roof in Chon Buri, sustains multiple injuries

Phuket10 hours ago

Talad Kaset market in Phuket reopens

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

PM Prayut tests negative after parliament maid has Covid-19

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8