BANGKOK – An anti-alcohol advocacy group has petitioned the public health Ministry to get tough on drinking competitions after a man died within seconds of guzzling a large pint of beer at a company drinking contest.
Kamron Chudecha, a representative from the Alcohol Watch Network on Wednesday submitted a petition to the ministry, calling for the strict enforcement of alcohol laws against organizers of such drinking competitions.
The move follows a video that went viral on social media from Saturday night’s deadly drinking contest in Phetchaburi’s Cha-am district shows party guests, including the unidentified victim, lined up in front of a stage to see who can finish their beer the fastest.
It takes the victim a little over 30 seconds to finish, after which he raises his glass in triumph, only to collapse forward seconds later. The video cuts off there.
The man went into a seizure, and beer started coming out of his nose and mouth,” according to Twitter user Cutiee_lovely, who claimed to have witnessed the incident first hand.
Saying the by the time an ambulance and rescue workers arrived the man’s heart had stopped beating.
Kamron Chudecha of Alcohol Watch Network, said on Wednesday, “Police should treat this issue seriously and the state must step in to create better public awareness about the dangers of this kind of drinking.”
He said promoting such an event breaches the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.
The public health Minister’s adviser, Kittisak Klabdee, who accepted the petition, said the man was found to have a blood alcohol level measuring 400 milligrams per deciliter, above the safe limit of 300 mg/dL.
Chugging beer can potentially cause someone to stop breathing, he said.
Office of the Alcohol Control Committee deputy chief, Pongtorn Chartpituck, said the organizer and the beer chugging man’s employers could be subject to criminal charges.
Department of Disease Control director-general, Suwanchai Watthanayingcharoenchai, said officials from the Office of Disease Prevention and Control 5 were working with the Phetchaburi public health office investigating the tragedy.