According to a National News Bureau of Thailand report, the Department of Land Transport has imposed the ban of alcohol sale by the roadside and in bus terminals nationwide. Violators will face a fine of 10,000 baht or a six-month jail term. The report states that the Director General Theerapong Rawdprasert, the Office of the Prime Minister has recently promulgated the law banning alcohol sales in public places, which include areas along the roadside and pavements. Moreover, selling and drinking of alcohol beverages will be prohibited at all bus terminals.
The statement begs the question in relation to the thousands of ‘by the roadside’ shops including Seven Elevens nationwide. It could be argued that virtually all alcohol sales are made ‘by the roadside’. The laws appear to be specifically targeting transport terminals; however the ambiguity of the description given by the Bureau has inevitably lead to bemusement by online forum contributors. The Department has also stepped up its monitoring of drivers of public transport. They will from now on be subjected to random alcohol test periodically. Drivers behind the wheels who are found to have over 0 milligram percent of alcohol in their bodies will be taken off the road and face a fine of up to 10,000 THB and/or a three-month jail term.
The move is seen as the Thai government’s latest effort to cut the number of traffic accidents often caused by drivers under the influence. Locally the number of alcohol checks has been notably increased. Cha-Am residents have seen almost nightly stoppage points on Narathip road targeting drivers leaving nearby bar and restaurant venues.