In December 2013, the first riots in Singapore since 1969 occurred in Little India. Fueled by drinking, rioters pushed police cars on their sides and even set an ambulance on fire. After the riot, feedback from the public was gathered and liquor restrictions were mooted in Parliament. The Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Bill was passed and came into effect on 1 April 2015. How does this affect you? Read on to find out.
What does this mean for you?
Now that the new liquor laws are in effect, be sure to make your alcohol purchases between 7.00 am and 10.30 pm. Apart from restrictions on the sale of alcohol, there are also prohibitions on behaviour:
- No drinking in public places after 10.30 pm until 7.00 am. Public places are defined as places where a person has free access, such as parks, beaches and void decks.
- No buying of take-away alcohol after 10.30 pm until 7.00 am from convenience stores, supermarkets, coffee shops, etc.
That is not to say that drinking is no longer allowed. Here is what you can do:
- Drink at establishments with liquor licenses. This includes clubs, bars, pubs, restaurants, lounges, beer gardens, etc. The exact hours will depend on the establishment’s individual license.
- Drink at events in public places if the event organisers have obtained the relevant permit.
- Drink at pool parties or barbeque pits on private property such as in hotels, serviced apartments or at condominiums.
- If you have the relevant permit from NParks, you can drink in the immediate vicinity of public barbeque pits in parks from noon to 4 am the next day.
- Drink at home.
Liquor Control Zones
Geylang and Little India have been designated Liquor Control Zones (LCZs) that have different restrictions. Alcohol cannot be consumed in public in LCZs during these times:
- 7.00 am on Saturdays to 7.00 am on Mondays
- 7.00 pm on the eve of public holidays to 7.00 am the day after the public holiday
The sale of take-away alcohol is prohibited in LCZ during these times:
- 7.00 pm to 7.00 am the next day on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and eves of public holidays
For exact boundaries of LCZs, download this PDF from the Ministry of Home Affairs’ website: https://www.mha.gov.sg/get_news_file.aspx?file_id=85b_AnnexLiquorControlZones.pdf
According to the FAQs available on the Singapore Police Force’s website, the Police will request that people consuming alcohol dispose of their alcohol immediately and may take down the person’s particulars or ask him or her to leave the place. If these requests are complied with, no further action will be taken. A fine or arrest may be imposed if the person ignores these requests or is a recalcitrant offender. Penalties will be harsher if the liquor law is broken in the Liquor Control Zones.
Information on the restrictions is accurate as of 7 April 2015 and derived from www.mha.gov.sg and www.ifaq.gov.sg/SPF/apps/fcd_faqmain.aspx#TOPIC_9301.