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Booze Ban To Create Pockets Of Prohibition


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It’s the last Friday of the month, your paycheck has dropped and leaving the office it’s time to wash the week away.


You start at Siam Paragon or CentralWorld’s Groove for dinner and wine with your tii rak, but they’re not serving. You head to a sports bar on Sukhumvit Road for some brew with your crew, but it’s gone dark. Desperate you race to Soi Cowboy to find the vodka locked up.


Impossible as it is to imagine this scenario being real, that's the reality of a new ban on alcohol sales signed into law Monday and expected to go into effect next month.


As written and enacted under the military government’s special “Section 44†powers, the ban is for all alcohol sales – shopping malls, pubs, restaurants and everything – within 300 meters of schools. The only exemptions are for registered hotels and government-designated entertainment zones such as Patpong, Royal City Avenue-upper Thonglor, and that stretch of big box clubs on Ratchadapisek Road.


The stated purpose of the ban is to counter student drinking and violence, but the groups pushing the ban are the usual umbrella organizations of anti-alcohol prohibitionists. This time they landed on a more compelling argument than “it’s bad†at a time when legislative hurdles can be brushed aside with the stroke of a pen.


The trade association representing alcohol sellers is, unsurprisingly, opposed to the measure and has made vocal arguments about the law’s ineffectiveness and outsized impact.


“Imagine foreigners go into expensive restaurants but cannot order wine,†Thanakorn Kuptajit, president of the Thai Alcoholic Beverage Business Association told Coconuts. “Places like Hard Rock cafe in Siam or even Soi Cowboy will be affected.â€


As to the stated purpose of the ban, the association believes stricter enforcement of age limits makes more sense, because if you don’t want young people drinking, just don’t allow them to buy.


“The old law which prohibited underage drinkers is more right-to-the-point than this new law,†Thanakorn said.


But setting aside debate over its merits and intent, it would have a huge effect if it goes into effect as written.


“No person shall sell alcohol beverages within 300 meters from the boundary line of tertiary education institution and vocational institution pursuant to the laws on national education,†the order amending the Alcohol Beverage Control Act states.







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Man, they're gonna end up having to close or move a lot of schools!


So, what did Khun Charoen the booze king do to piss off the man with the law-writing pen? Perhaps looms as a future Mr. T-type in some way, a man off the lease? Or has he already done something that he needs some reminding of where his liquid bread is buttered?!


Maybe there's a conspiratorial angle to the story - driving customers into the arms of those who run the entertainment districts?


Anyway, won't be enforced. Just curious what the background may be. Visiting Thailand has always been a bit like going down the rabbit-hole, but it gets more so every day...

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Its in force with most big outlets - True shops for example, that being said, I got a sim card from my usual haunt on Soi Buckhao with no questions asked so it seems a tad hit and miss.


On the one occassion I went to the true shop (bloody stupid system, queue to register, go to machine to top up, then go back to queue!) I didn't have any ID though they accepted the G/F's ID card without any fuss. This was in February but as we all know, things change rapidly.

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I'm impressed that the girls in this shot are basically attractive, such that it does promote the idea of going there and enjoying oneself and possibly barfining! These days so much of the promotional material shows girls that I'd be embarrassed to be seen with, suggesting the place is an 'ugly-girl-fetish' bar. Good for you, Playskool!

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