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Tight control of alcohol sales during Songkran festival

Written by World Events

In a bid to reduce road accidents caused by drunk driving during the extended “World Songkran Festival”, which takes place between April 1st and 21st, the Ministry of Public Health has decided to tighten up controls on the sale of alcohol, especially to those who are under age.

According to Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew, the Songkran festival will be divided into the preparatory stage, from April 1st to 10th, the festive events and activities, from April 11th to 17th, and the post-festival stage, from April 18th to 21st.

Provincial and local officials have been instructed to launch publicity campaigns to remind liquor outlets to abide strictly by the regulation restricting liquor sales to 11am to 2pm and from 5pm to midnight, to refrain from activities promoting alcohol sales, not to sell alcohol to people under 20 and not to sell alcohol in certain restricted areas, as legally mandated.

All people involved in road accidents will be subjected to breathalyser tests and, if they are unable to undergo such a test, they will be taken to a nearby hospital for blood tests. If the people involved are under 20 and tests show levels of alcohol beyond legal limits, officials will investigate and, where appropriate, take legal action against the alcohol vendor.

Cholnan said that officials have been told to prevent drunken people from driving by setting up community checkpoints.

According to statistics, 4,340 people were killed or injured during last year’s Songkran festival, from April 11th to 17th. Among them were 502 young people who were under 20. Most of the road accidents occurred on secondary roads.

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