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Late Hours For Phuket Bars Mooted

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Late hours for Phuket bars mooted

PHUKET: -- Bars and entertainment venues may be allowed to stay open later again if their owners can convince authorities that they are seriously taking action against under-age patrons, drugs and drunk-driving.

Interior Minister Bhokin Balakula said on Friday that entertainment laws must be enforced.

But "there is a possibility the rules may be reconsidered if we find an improvement in customers' awareness of how to behave in such places, and safer driving.

"The entertainment venues were the worst places [for contravention of these laws]. That's why the order was introduced."

The Phuket Entertainment Business Association has lobbied the minister for early-closing rules to be eased because, it argues, many of its members cater to tourists who do not venture out to play until midnight or 1am, precisely the time when, the new order says, most venues must close.

Bhokin said the government understood that Phuket was a place for tourism. "Tourists expect to have fun here, and that is fine, so long as there are no drugs, no excessive drunkenness and no under-age patrons involved.

"I have told [Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura] to consider what he thinks would be the best thing to do about the early-closing order.

"All rules can be reviewed if the problems [regarding the venues] are under control."

Bhokin said it made no difference whether a city was a tourist destination or not: the point was that venues must be free of under-age drinking and drug-taking. and the patrons must not drive drunk.

"It is also important that business operators be strict. All those involved in this must prove that they can control all these things, then I think it'll be okay. We should work together."

Bhokin was visiting the resort island for the official opening of the Moroccan consulate in ST Plaza in the city.

--Phuket Gazette 2004-10-10

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I smell a reversal and by evidence of the OFGC last few nights this looks to be certainly the case! :o

Try as we might, we were unable to get anything stronger than Coke or a Fanta by 10:45pm.

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