Alcohol has become almost as big of a part of Songkran as water.
At one Pattaya road checkpoint last year, police arrested more than 200 drunk drivers a day between April 11 and 19. About 15 percent of those arrested had more than 300 mg. of alcohol in their system.
“Drinking gives pleasure, but is quite risky since it creates problems too,” said Opart Pattankan, a wholesale beverage dealer.
Opart said people love to drink during Songkran because April is hot, the holiday is long and, to some, it makes the celebration more fun.
Bangkok tourist Nisa Keawkat (white t-shirt) said she doesn’t drink much herself, but thinks drinking during Songkran is normal for many people.
Dongtan Beach umbrella vendor Virasap Kanrasart said he’s seen people drinking for Songkran since he was a child. But things have gotten worse, he said.
“People used to be polite when they want to spray water on others. But many things have changed, especially people getting drunk and creating a lot of problems,” Virasap said. “I would like to see families hanging around together rather than see people drinking and fighting during this festival.”
Bangkok tourist Nisa Keawkat said she doesn’t drink much herself, but thinks drinking during Songkran is normal for many people.
“Alcohol will make the day more fun and joyful,” she said. “But it can also create unexpected problems.”