Thailand’s new alcohol sales restrictions now in effect

Alcoholic beverages can now be sold only between 11am – 2pm and 5pm – midnight every day, according to an announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office on the 2015 law regulating alcohol sales, which officially took effect on January 23.

At all other times, alcohol sales are strictly forbidden except at international airport terminals (whose alcohol sales laws have not been affected by this new set of restrictions) and legally registered entertainment venues.

Samarn Futrakun, Director General of the Office of Alcohol Control Committee, said that the change isn’t major, with alcohol sales still restricted to a total of ten hours per day.

Entertainment venues, however, which were formerly allowed to sell alcohol until 2am, can now only legally do so until midnight. This means that nighttime entertainment venues can only legally sell alcohol for 5 hours every day, which in total is less than regular restaurants.

The Director General said that the old law was problematic as it did not cover every aspect of alcohol sales. The new law, he says, takes into account every type of restaurant as well as other venues selling alcohol.

In addition, while the old law allowed for wholesale purchases of alcohol in excess of 10 liters to be made at any time of the day (mainly geared toward business owners buying alcohol in bulk to sell), the new regulations do not allow for this. Purchase hours are now restricted to the 11am-2pm and 5pm-midnight regardless of quantity.

Violators of these new laws are subject to six months imprisonment and/or a 10,000 baht fine.


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