Little India Riot: Updated timings for ban of alcohol in area

The Liquor Licensing Board (LLB) has updated the timings for the ban of the sale of alcohol in the Little India area. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
The Liquor Licensing Board (LLB) has updated the timings for the ban of the sale of alcohol in the Little India area. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

The Liquor Licensing Board (LLB) has updated the timings for the ban of the sale of alcohol in the Little India area.

It had earlier sent a circular to some establishments in the area banning the sale of alcohol on Dec 14, 15 and 16. In an updated circular, it said that the ban would now be in place from 6am on Dec 14 to 5.59am on Dec 16.

The board also reminded licensees in the earlier letter that enforcement actions would be taken against any infringement of the suspension order, which may lead to revocation of the liquor licences.

This latest move comes after Second Minister for Home Affairs S. Iswaran said on Monday that the ban will apply this weekend, following a riot that broke out along Race Course Road on Sunday, as a "first step to stabilise the situation". The details of the ban, such as the geographical area it will cover and boundaries, were not made available by the police or the LLB.

Is drinking on the streets allowed?

While there are no laws on public drinking in Singapore yet, it is illegal to do so in most major countries in the world. Here are the restrictions imposed on the sale and consumption of alcohol in six countries:

Country Sale Public consumption
Singapore Retail outlets in residential estates or commercial districts can apply for a license to sell alcohol for 24 hours. Those at mixed commercial and residential zones can only sell alcohol from 6am to 3am on weekdays, and from 6am to 4am on Saturdays and the eve of public holidays. There are currently no laws prohibiting individuals from drinking in public, although the Government is now looking into it.
Australia Australian rules on the sale of liquor are strict. In Western Australia for example, liquor can only be sold up to 10pm. It is generally illegal to drink in public places outside licensed premises and areas designated as alcohol zones, although details vary from state to state. In Western Australia, for example, it is an offence individuals to drink in public, such as on the street, park, or beach without a permit.
UK The sale of alcohol at a premise - club, bar or convenience store - must be licensed by the local authority. The individual responsible for the premises must also hold a personal licence, also issued by the local authority. In England and Wales, people can drink in public although the local authorities can impose restrictions in areas where alcohol-related disorder or nuisance are a problem. In these places under the Designated Public Place Orders, police officers have discretionary powers to stop people from drinking alcohol in public.
US Laws that govern the manufacture, sale and use of alcohol are established by federal, state and local governments. They can choose how they want to prohibit the sale of alcohol in a “dry county” or a “dry town”. The vast majority of the US states prohibit possessing and/or consuming an open container of alcohol in public spaces, such as streets. There are exceptions though. On the Las Vegas Strip, for example, public drinking is allowed throughout the year.
India India has dry days, during which the sale of alcohol is banned. These include national holidays such as Republic Day and Independence Day. Prohibition exists only in some states such as Gujarat. Where consumption is permitted, drinking in public is not illegal and common in areas where there are bars or liquor stores.
Japan Comparatively, Japan has the most liberal rules. Beer can be purchased at a wide variety of outlets, including supermarkets and convenience stores and even from vending machines. There are no laws forbidding drinking on the streets. However, people rarely do so, with many considering it "embarrassing".

COMPILED BY DERRICK HO