Thai authorities warn of tough legal action to back ban on alcohol in public parks

Alcohol is seen as a factor that leads to disruptive behaviour and altercations among revellers, said Mr Thanya Netithammakun, director-general of Thailand's National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department.
Alcohol is seen as a factor that leads to disruptive behaviour and altercations among revellers, said Mr Thanya Netithammakun, director-general of Thailand's National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department.PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK - Thailand's National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department has warned that it will take tough legal action against those who violate a ban on alcohol drinking at its national parks.

The prohibitory order comes ahead of an anticipated surge in the number of visitors to parks across the country for New Year's Day celebrations, reported The Bangkok Post.

Alcohol is seen as a factor that leads to disruptive behaviour and altercations among revellers, said Mr Thanya Netithammakun, director-general of the department, on Sunday.

"The department is concerned about problems associated with alcohol such as rowdy behaviour or accidents. Most visitors to the park expect a peaceful stay and only wish to indulge in the natural beauty," he said.

Those flouting the ban face up to a month in jail, besides a maximum find of 1,000 baht (S$41.26), reported The Bangkok Post.

A source in the tourism business, who asked not to be named, said the measures must be announced clearly to inform tourists in advance. "Drunk people are hard to deal with. Preventing drunkenness will also prevent harm to nature, animals and disturbances to other visitors," the source said.

The other organisations taking part in supporting this initiative are the Thai Health Promotion Foundation and the Accident Prevention Network.

Mr Neeracha Wongmasa, the president of the Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association (Teata), supported the measures, saying that to begin with there might be resistance, but the result would hopefully put an end to alcoholism in many parts of the country.