FAQs on the proposed Liquor Control Bill

The Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Bill, which was introduced in Parliament on Monday, has garnered wide-ranging reactions with some expressing support for the Bill, while others criticised it.

Under the Bill, people will not be allowed to drink in public places between 10.30pm and 7am. Retail shops will also have to stop selling alcohol after 10.30pm.

Many netizens have also raised questions about the proposed law. The Straits Times answers some commonly asked questions.

  • If I throw a pool party at my condominium, is it considered a public place? Can I consume alcohol beyond 10.30pm?

No, it is not considered a public place. A public place is where people have free access, such as parks, beaches and HDB void decks. But a condominium management may impose restrictions on drinking in the common areas within the premises.

  • If I queue up at a retail shop to buy alcohol at 10.25pm, but reach the cashier only at 10.35pm, will I be able to buy the liquor?

No, retail shops are not allowed to sell alcohol after 10.30pm.

But shops may apply for an extension under their liquor licence, and this may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

  • Will duty-free stores have to stop selling alcohol by 10.30pm?

Yes, the ban applies to duty-free stores, which are considered retail outlets. But they may also apply for an extension which will allow them to sell beyond the permitted hours in the Bill.

  • Can I drink alcohol at hawker centres and coffee shops after 10.30pm, if they are closed?

No. These are considered public places, and drinking is not allowed from 10.30pm. It is only permitted if the coffee shop is open and has a licence to sell liquor beyond 10.30pm. But customers have to drink there and are not allowed to take it elsewhere.

  • If I conceal the alcohol in a cup or bottle and drink it in public, will I be penalised?

The rules are unclear on this point but if the person appears drunk or rowdy, police can ask to check if he is indeed drinking alcohol.

Under the Bill, police can order a person who appears drunk or is a nuisance to dispose of the liquor and to leave. If he complies with police orders, no further action will be taken.

But if the person ignores the advice or is a repeat offender, the police may consider tougher action, such as issuing a composition fine or even making an arrest.

A first-time offence will carry a fine of up to $1,000, while repeat offenders could be fined a maximum of $2,000 and may face a jail term of up to three months.