The ever increasing number of alcohol checkpoints not just around Pattaya is surely a pain in the rear for those who remember the “good old days” where you could virtually get thrashed to the point of not being able to walk straight any longer but still drive your motorbike or car around Pattaya without any fear of being stopped and breathalyzed by the police.
But the times have changed and law is law, on some occasions also in Thailand, and the maximum drink driving limit is 0.5 g of alcohol in your body, same as in many Western countries too.
In fact, since the military takeover three years ago that law is being ever more strictly enforced and there are DUI checkpoints almost every day at random locations around Pattaya, most frequently on the so-called Dark Side and at main intersections in the city centre.
Even secret LINE groups exist nowadays where members post real-time checkpoint information.
This year, the important Buddhist holiday of Makha Bucha falls on Monday, February 11. Since this is a national holiday, government offices including your local immigration bureau, banks and many other businesses would usually be closed for one day. With Makha Bucha falling on a Saturday, however, and government offices being closed anyway, Monday, February 13, has been designated by the Thai government as a substitute holiday.
As usual on the four most important Buddha days, alcohol sales will be strictly banned nationwide and bars and entertainment venues in Pattaya required to close from midnight to midnight.
The important Buddhist holy day of Wan Ork Pansaa this year falls on Sunday, October 16.
Wan Ork Pansaa, also known as the end of Buddhist Lent, is a national holiday, and many businesses will be closed for one day.
As mandatory on the four most important Buddha days, alcohol sales will be banned nationwide and most bars and entertainment venues closed around Pattaya. As it appears, the booze ban applies from midnight to midnight.
Wan Ork Pansaa marks the end of this year’s Buddhist Lent and and the monks’ annual “rains retreat”, during which they are restricted to their temples for a period of three lunar months. The important Buddhist holiday also marks the “official” end of the rainy season, and devout Buddhists will turn out in the thousands at local temples to make merit (tham bun) and take part in religious ceremonies.
As on the three other main Buddha holidays (and stipulated by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act of 2008), alcohol sales are prohibited by law and most bars in Pattaya will be closed for the day (that is from midnight to midnight).
While hotels are exempted from the ban, restaurants, department stores and supermarkets (including 7-Eleven convenience stores) will not be allowed to sell alcohol either.
Anyone violating the law can be fined up to 10,000 Baht and/or receive a prison sentence of up to six months. Bar owners also face the risk of having their venues shut down temporarily if they should be found to ignore the order.