Thai Minister of Public Health Announces Strict Alcohol Control Measures for Songkran Festival


On March 11th, 2024, Dr. Cholnan Srikaew, the Thai Minister of Public Health, publicly gave a response after the meeting of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee on guidelines for controlling alcoholic beverages during the World Songkran Festival.

The Thai Department of Disease Control and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Network previously proposed a campaign under the concept of “No Drinking While Driving” as a National Alcohol Control scheme to prevent road accidents from DUIs during the Songkran Festival.

The National Alcohol Control scheme would be divided into three phases: before the Songkran holidays, April 1st to 10th, during the Songkran holidays, April 11th to 17th, and after the Songkran holidays, 18th to 21st.

The Thai government issued orders to Provincial Alcoholic Beverage Control Committees with collaboration from relevant agencies to publicize the campaign to designate areas in each province to celebrate the Songkran festival without alcoholic beverages.

In the designated alcohol-free areas, the law would be strictly enforced including:

1.) The ban on alcohol sales to minors under the age of 20.

2.) The ban on alcohol promotion.

3.) Strict sales of alcoholic beverages during prescribed legal hours from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 12:00 AM (midnight).

4.) The prohibition of alcohol sales and consumption outside legally designated locations.

5.) Alcohol tests would be conducted on all drivers at any accident scene. In case minors under the age of 20 are involved, if blood alcohol levels are above 20 milligrams per decilitre, the police would investigate further to take legal action against the sellers.

6.) Police checkpoints would be set up to prevent drunk people from driving on the road.

7.) A person on probation for DUIs would be immediately sent, with consent, to a rehabilitation process under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Health.

However, the pilot provinces that were allowed to operate the entertainment venues to 4 AM must comply with the specified announcements of the Ministry of Interior. In other areas that were not allowed to extend entertainment service hours they must close according to the law, remarked Dr. Cholnan.

Furthermore, the committees would assign a working group to study extending alcohol sale hours in restaurants. Within three months, the conclusion would be presented with comprehensive consideration to stimulate Thai tourism and the economy, concluded Dr. Cholnan.

Kittisak Phalaharn
Kittisak has a passion for outgoings no matter how tough it will be, he will travel with an adventurous style. As for his interests in fantasy, detective genres in novels and sports science books are parts of his soul. He works for Pattaya News as the latest writer.