Integrity Legal - Law Firm in Bangkok | Bangkok Lawyer | Legal Services Thailand Back to
Integrity Legal

Legal Services & Resources 

Up to date legal information pertaining to Thai, American, & International Law.

Contact us: +66 2-266 3698

Why an Alcohol Ban in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the notion of the alcohol ban in Thailand. For those who are unaware and we have been making videos contemporaneously with this one, we have been discussing a lot of the measures in this "non-lockdown" as we are terming it in recent weeks that pertains to entertainment establishments; pubs, bars and now restaurants. Restaurants in the beginning of this latest iteration of these restrictions were being allowed to serve alcohol. Now apparently, there are restrictions on alcohol, sales. We have had a number of clients contact us who are in the food and beverage business and frankly they are pretty exasperated. I am pretty exasperated just on a personal note in following this whole response, whatever you want to call it because it does not seem to, for lack of a better term, make a lot of sense.

Long story short, this is going to have a tremendous impact, it is already having a tremendous impact on a number of businesses here in Thailand, the economy here in Thailand and frankly, I think that this most recent round of let's just call it restrictions, this round of restrictions, probably will have the most devastating impact on at least certain segments of the Thai economy especially small businesses here in Thailand. You go back to a year ago the economy, the small business economy was rather able to take the hit if you will in their first lockdown. We came out of that, it wasn't great and then we proceeded to in a phased way get things moving again and then just up out of nowhere, right when one of the big holidays namely International New Year, that would hopefully put some money in these small business' pockets, BOOM they shut things down again and they kept them shut down for a number weeks depending on the province one was in. Basically, if I recall correctly, up until the end of February, Bangkok was largely shut down. Then we went through March, we have now come upon April, we have been under these truncated restrictions pertaining only to bars and pubs etc. and then now they are extending these restrictions even further. So basically there is an effective alcohol ban on premises of any type and a lot of our clients, a lot of people have been contacting us saying "what is the point of this? why is this being done?" and I don't know if this is a disconnect between policy makers and then the execution of policy, I guess people simply don't understand that if you are running a business, especially in the restaurant business, your money is oftentimes made on the alcohol side of the ledger. You may make some margin off of food especially restaurants proper, I am not talking fast food here, we are talking a sit down, order a meal from the menu, wait for it to come kind of restaurant. Those kinds of places frankly for lack of a better term, no pun intended, their bread and butter is selling a beer with that hamburger or selling some wine with that steak. It is a huge segment of the way that they make their money. In a very real way we were talking to some clients that is almost better to wholly shut something down than to do this where it is like “well, we going to open but we can't sell the exact item that makes us the money that allows us to carry on.” I totally understand the frustration from people at this point. We are making other videos on this. I haven't been real vocal in expressing my personal opinions but they are coming into line with what we are hearing from folks and what we are seeing throughout the country from people in response to this latest iteration which it just doesn't seem like folks are really, folks in a policy making capacity are fully assessing the cost benefit analysis associated with these policies.