Several anti-alcohol organizations joined together to present a letter to the Chiang Mai Governor to strictly enforce laws regarding bars and entertainment venues close to schools in Chiang Mai. The group, which consisted of representatives from Chiang Mai Stop Drinking Coordinating Center, Love Chiang Mai Community Network and the Institution Education Network met with Deputy Governor Prachuab Kanthiya and asked him to pass it on to the Prime Minister.
In the letter the organizations asked the Governor to be strict in regards to entertainment venues, bars, pubs, karaoke clubs and alcohol sales close to schools, universities and temples. They also asked for clear zoning rules after the incident at Malin Sky Pub became a nationwide scandal.
The bar was only ten meters from the University and although there was an order for its closing it was still in the courts, the group pointed out that there are many similar bars and restaurants near the university even though there are zoning regulations.
They pointed out that many venues allow people under the age of 20 while others are not closing on time. They asked the government to strictly enforce the laws and zoning regulations on these venues. They pointed out that although the bars and clubs have licenses they are not seriously inspected and laws are not being enforced. Additionally, their proximity to temples, schools and local communities has an effect on the residents from noise pollution, drunks and fights. The law states that shops and venues selling alcohol can be no more than 300 meters from schools.
The Deputy Governor said the government has been inspecting the venues in the area weekly and that zoning regulations and licenses can be found at the Provincial Excise Office. He added that all of the shops currently operating had received their licenses before the NCPO’s order in 2015 and can continue business but new ones are not allowed. However, if a shop breaks one of the five rules they must be closed. Those rules include allowing people under the age of 20 to use the venue, selling alcohol to people under 20, opening past regulated hours, the possession of weapons or drugs.