Sober officials to watch over New Year
PHUKET: Phuket authorities will be keeping a close eye on revellers at various New Year festivals including those in Patong, Kata and Karon, in an attempt to control the amount of alcohol consumed.
Wednesday 28 December 2011, 01:37PM
Alcohol may be sold and drunk, but officials may deliver warnings if they see it being drunk to excess, in attempt to prevent road accidents and violence, both of which peak around New Year.
Action to curb alcohol abuse began last week when the Chief of the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office, Dr Sak Tanchaikul, led a team to check whether major retailers were selling New Year gift baskets containing alcoholic beverages, which is considered illegal.
Until January 4, Phuket police and local authorities will be patrolling major locations for New Year celebrations such as Patong Beach and Soi Bangla, with particular focus on December 31, when bars and night clubs across the island will be permitted to remain open until 6am the following morning.
Officials from the Office of Disease Prevention and Control, and the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco in Nakorn Si Thammarat province will support local officials by joining the patrols.
Phuket is one of five provinces in Thailand – the others are Chiang Mai, Songkla, Koh Samui and Pattaya – where officials are on high alert in an attempt to curb crime and violence during the celebrations.