Jail term for those found with alcohol in national parks

The National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department will strictly enforce its regulation prohibiting visitors from taking alcoholic drinks including beer and liquor into national parks.

Those found violating this regulation will be liable to up to one month in jail and a fine of not exceeding 1,000 baht, said department director-general Thanya Netithamkul.

He said the regulation will be strictly enforced after it has been found that visitors frequently quarrel and make a loud noise, causing disturbance and nuisances in the parks after consuming alcoholic drinks.

“I have given this policy to department officials all over the country to strictly ban visitors from taking alcohol into national parks, according to a department regulation. Violators will be liable to up to one month in jail and a fine of not exceeding 1,000 baht. They will also be asked to leave the parks immediately,” Mr Thanya said.

In preparing for the flows of tourists into national parks during the New Year, Mr Thanya said the department is now ready in terms of lodging, toilets, safety, cleanliness and garbage disposal.

“But, we are most concerned about people making a loud noise and having a brawl as a result of drinking alcohol,” he said.

Park officials found neglect of duty will also be punished, he said. People who see negligence on the part of park officials can call the department on hotline 1362 around the clock, he added.

Songkran Pakchokdee, director of the office of anti-alcohol networks, said most of the problems causing deaths and injuries in the parks are caused by alcoholic drinks.

He agrees with the department’s ban on alcohol in national parks, saying that it is a measure to protect both the tourists and natural resources.