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Alcohol Ban Proposed for the Thai New Year “Songkran”

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BANGKOK – Thailand’s Alcohol Control Committee’s (ACC) has passed a resolution that would see the ban of alcohol sales in Thailand on the first day of Songkran which in also the first day of the Thai New Year.

ACC deputy chair Dr Sukhum Karnchanapimai, who is also the permanent secretary for Public Health said it will have to get the green light from the Alcohol Policy Committee which will meet next month.

He said the ACC passed a resolution because statistics show road casualties are highest on this day every year.

April 13 marks the traditional Thai New Year and is a part of long Songkran holidays when millions of people hit the roads for home-province visits or vacations. Revelers often celebrated Songkran with alcohol.

In Thailand, drunk driving is a major cause of road accidents.

“Records show between 50 and 60 per cent of adults get behind the wheel even after drinking. The percentage is even higher among those aged younger than 20 years,” Sukhum said.

He said the ACC had pushed for the alcohol-sale ban to prevent people from the danger of drunk driving.

“Even if we don’t drink drive, there is risk of accidents if others drink drive,” he said.

He said the ban on the sale of alcohol during five important religious holidays proves effective in reducing road accidents. These days are Makha Bucha Day, Visakha Bucha Day, Asharnha Bucha Day, the Buddhist Lent Day, and the End of Buddhist Lent Day.

“The latest resolution … applies to April 13, 2019 only. But if evaluation shows good results, we will propose the ban on alcoholic sale on April 13 of every year,” Sukhum said.

Source: Thai Nation