Due to the upcoming Senate Elections in Thailand, there will be two weekends in a row of alcohol bans. The first one is this weekend for the advance voting and then the real election the following Sunday. The big tourist hotels are usually exempt. You will also find that the small mom & pop stores will sell as normal. This is because they don’t have electronic cash registers which would print out a receipt with time and date. Easier for them to sell under the table unlike say 7-Eleven or Family Mart. I have also been at some restaurants up country that sold alcohol on election days. Some bars in Bangkok are known to sell alcohol in tea cups on these days. This is despite offenders facing 6 months in prison and/or 10,000 Baht fine.
The alcohol ban hours are as follows:
- 6 p.m. on Saturday 22nd March until midnight on Sunday 23rd March 2014
- 6 p.m. on Saturday 29th March until midnight on Sunday 30th March 2014
You shouldn’t be confused between the general election back in February and this senate election. It is two different houses. The Constitution Court nullified the general election. Which means all future by-elections are cancelled. However, this and next weekend are the senate elections. They are not affected.
In related news, there will be a by-election for the Patong Mayor in Phuket on Saturday 26th April 2014. So, there will be an alcohol ban in this beach resort city from Friday night at 6 p.m. to midnight on the day of the election.