Publishing or sharing alcohol-related content could cost you 50,000 to 500,000 baht in fines.
With the easing of lockdown restrictions due within the next few days, Chiang Mai restaurant owners and consumers need to be aware of the rules regarding the sharing, posting or publishing of content displaying alcoholic beverages.
Section 32 of the 2008 Alcoholic Beverage Control Act prohibits the following:
- Posting a drink with the brand visible
- Posting a bottle which makes it clear what brand it is
- Encouraging people to drink
- Posting properties of drinks
- Showing appreciation or urging people to taste
- Posting a beer glass with a brand on it
- Translating news or writing about alcohol even though the drinks are not available in Thailand. Authorities view it could motivate people to fly to buy them.
- While travelling, never post photos of alcohol drinks not sold in Thailand since it could make people crave them and try to buy them
- Posting a gift with the logo or trademark of a drink even though the drink itself is not in the photo because it implies someone has bought the drinks.
- It doesn’t matter when a post is made so long as it contains alcohol drinks, authorities can always charge you.
Under Section 32 of the 2008 Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (English translation), no person may conduct an advertisement of an alcoholic beverage or express the name or sign of such beverage in a manner directly or indirectly claiming the existence of certain properties of or encouraging another to consume an alcoholic beverage.
The punishment is one year in jail and/or a fine not more than 500,000 baht, as well as a daily fine up to 50,000 baht until the offender fixes the problem.
What to expect if you get a Section 32 subpoena:
- The subpoena is sent to the address on your ID card. Officials can also investigate starting with the phone number that is registered on social media accounts.
- You will get an appointment and you must attend otherwise you will be fined 20,000 baht and prosecute to the end.
- When you go to the appointment, the officials will inform you of allegations in the interrogation room. You can go in with 2 lawyers.
- When you know the charges, there are 2 options.
4.1 Accept the fine and pay 50,000 baht or pay the fine in instalments.
4.2 Don’t accept it and go to court.
- If you repeat the same offence, the penalty can be increased to 200,000 baht.
Note: All of the above points are at the discretion of officials only.