The Ministry of Public Health will meet tomorrow to consider taking legal action against convenience stores for selling draught beer.
The ministry’s Office of Alcohol Control Committee director Dr Niphon Chinannonthavej said on Monday that the committee will look into legal action against the convenience stores regarding the Alcohol Control Act 2008.
He said the meeting will be chaired by Dr Vitoon Ungpraphan.
He said selling of draught beer by the convenience store is similar to keg beer selling abroad, but has never existed in the country before.
He said abroad, the selling of draught beer at convenience stores is registered differently between drinking at the shop or taking home while the penalty for drink driving is also hefty.
Draught beer is best for drinking immediately after being served similar to drinking at the shop, he said and added that the committee will consider this within the boundary of law.
Meanwhile a coordinator of the Alcoholic Business Watchdog Network Mr Kamron Chudecha said from the network’s continual monitoring of the selling of draught beer by convenience stores, they obviously violated the law and are guilty of two offences, promoting alcohol selling and having no control of customers’ ages.
Moreover the selling of draught beer encourages customers to drink them outright after leaving the stores, maybe on the streets or inside the cars, posing higher risk of car accidents, he said.
He then called on the ministry to issue ministerial regulations to ban the selling of draught beer by convenience stores to fulfill the intent of the law that originally prohibited the sales of alcoholic beverages at convenience stores.
An alcohol addiction researcher Muhammadfami Taleh also voiced opposition to convenience store for exploiting loopholes in the law to sell draught beer from vending machines although they would cover the brand of the beer with cloth to avoid violation of the law.
He said beer retailers and producers should have more social responsibility for the impact on the people.
For once, the authorities have a point. Draught beer does not travel well and is better drunk immediately after serving. This will encourage customers to drink it quickly which is often a reason for intoxication.
Initially, it seemed that the selling of draught beers in stores was not a problem, but after further consideration it is not a good idea and would undoubtedly lead to misuse by young people.