Thailand is banning alcohol sales nationwide ahead of its general election on May 14, denting the country’s US$23 billion drinks industry.
Ahead of the country’s general election, the southeast Asian country is banning alcohol sales and distribution this weekend from 6pm on Saturday to 6pm on Sunday when advance voting opens, according to local news report.
The 24-hour ban would also include alcohol consumption at parties and violators would face up to 6 months in prison and a 10,000 baht fine.
The country already has a strict policy on alcohol sales. Alcoholic beverages can only be sold during the hours of 11:00 to 14:00 and 17:00 till midnight at liquor stores, convenience stores and supermarkets.
Despite the restrictive measures, the country’s alcoholic sales revenue is expected to hit US$23.5 billion this year.
The country is also planning to lift a five-decade-long alcohol ban that prohibits alcohol sales in the afternoon between 14:00 and 17:00 in an effort to boost local tourism, as we have reported.
But for now, the 24-hour ban would be in place this weekend and again on the election day from 6pm on May 13 to 6pm May 14.