The National Alcoholic Beverage Policy Committee has continued its drink don’t drive campaign to promote safe driving and to reduce the number of accidents caused by drunk driving over the coming New Year holidays.
Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha, in his capacity as the chairman of the committee, said on Thursday that the committee did not agree on the proposal requested by night entertainment venues to extend the selling of alcoholic drinks to 4am in popular tourism destinations to stimulate economic and tourism.
They also requested that the committee scrap the restricted alcohol sale hours between 2pm and 5pm and extend the selling hours from midnight to 2am.
“Many researchers have found that extended alcohol selling hours can lead to higher consumption of alcohol, which potentially results in a higher risk of violent crimes. Therefore, the National Alcoholic Beverage Policy Committee agreed to maintain the existing measures,” said Mr Sathit.
The existing measures are allowing the sale of alcoholic drinks between 11am to 2pm and 5pm to midnight, he said, adding that the sales hours will not be extended even during the New Year.
Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said that during the “Seven Dangerous Days” during the New Year (Dec 29 last year-Jan 4 this year), there were 2,707 road accidents nationwide with 2,672 casualties and 333 fatalities. According to data from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, road accidents caused by drunk drivers accounted for 29.51% of the cases.