Thailand is Banning Online Alcohol Sales

The Thai government announced it is moving forward with a proposal to ban online alcohol sales.

The prohibition comes in the wake of a sharp rise in online alcohol sales during the country’s Covid-19 lockdown.

Some Thais refused to let stay-at-home orders, in-store alcohol bans, or nightly curfews keep them from wetting their whistle.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has given rise to online sales of alcoholic beverages, especially on the social media where promotions and home delivery services are offered,” Deputy Minister of Public Health Satit Pitutacha said at the time of the nationwide lockdown.

Satit also said that online alcohol sales are uniquely dangerous because they skirted regulations outlined under the alcohol beverage control law, which imposes age, time, and location restrictions on imbibing beer and spirits.

In particular, Satit and anti-alcohol activists argued that allowing online alcohol sales would lead to a spike in underage drinking.

The ban, which comes into effect next year, will carry a fine of 10,000 baht and up to six months in prison for those who violate it.

But business owners argue that the ban is foolish because online sellers typically check ID upon delivery.

During Thailand’s nationwide lockdown, some Thais were reportedly fined for posting pictures and videos with alcoholic beverages on social media.

Authorities claimed that the social media posts constituted online promotion of alcohol.

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