A bit over a month ago, a controversial new rule banning alcohol sales near schools, colleges and universities in Thailand has finally become effective. We reported then:
The ban on alcohol sales near educational institutions was first proposed in July. The original order banned the sale of alcohol within a 300-metre radius of schools and universities, unless the locations were in designated entertainment zones.
The order has since been updated and now states only that booze cannot be sold “near” schools and universities, with no specific distance determined, apparently opening the doors to arbitrary enforcement of the law.
So how does this new and extremely vague ban on alcohol sales affect Pattaya – a city which isn’t just famous for its hundreds of bars and nightclubs but also has a number of schools within city limits, including a government school right within walking distance from Pattaya’s most famous red-light district, Walking Street?
The good news are – apparently the new booze ban won’t affect bars in Pattaya at all.
The Pattaya Mail reports now that a total of six committees have so far been established in Chonburi province to “tackle the alcohol-zoning issue, but none have come up with any final agreement or plan.”
In the most recent meeting regarding more precise guidelines how the new booze ban could be enforced locally, the deputy governor of Chonburi province “simply reiterated existing policy,” i.e. bars must not sell alcohol to minors under the legal drinking age of 20, and not remain open after their legal operating hours; which simply proves that existing laws, if properly enforced, are fully sufficient anyway to stop the Thai youth from drinking, and the latest ban was never needed in the first place.