Student Drinkers Have Increased In Number Since Thailand’s Alcohol Curbs, Says Activist

Last year, an alcohol prohibition law was published banning the sale of alcohol near schools and other educational institutions, in a bid to curb underage drinking and student crime.

However, the Bangkok Post report today that the number of student drinkers has, in fact, increased since the measures were introduced, according to an activist at the Youth Network Against New Drinkers, and that there must be more clarity on exactly where alcohol cannot be sold under the law.

“The crackdown on alcohol sales is not slowing down. The government needs to be clear where alcohol cannot be sold,” said Teerapat Kahawong, coordinator of the Youth Network Against New Drinkers. Teerapat was speaking at a seminar in Bangkok.

Last July, a draft law was published banning alcohol sales within 300 metres of the boundary lines of universities and vocational colleges, with the exceptions of registered hotels and government-allocated entertainment zones. Shortly thereafter, another law came into immediate effect banning alcohol sales ‘near’ the boundary lines of all educational institutions.

It was later explained that new zoning laws would determine the alcohol-free areas and licenced entertainment zones. Apparently more needs to be done to clarify this, however, as some bars are still serving alcohol to students, whether in defiance or, more likely, ignorance of the new law.

94.2 percent of students from Rangsit University, Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi and King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang were found to regularly drink around bars near their campuses in a recent survey by Huachiew Chalermprakiet University.

Last year, Coconuts published a map showing the ‘pockets of prohibition’ that would be created in central Bangkok should the 300-metre ban go into effect as per their interpretation of the law. While pockets like Nana Plaza would be able to continue serving booze, the bars in Soi Cowboy would apparently not – nor would the high-end shopping malls in Siam thanks to the proximity of Chula University.


Featured image is by Kullez and is used under a Creative Commons licence