June 25, 2012 13:32
The government will ban sales and drinking of alcohol in public facilities such as schools, hospitals and training centers. The Ministry of Health and Welfare on Sunday said violators will be subject to fines of up to W3 million (US$1=W1,159).
"Many hospitals and schools already voluntarily choose not to sell alcohol and ban drinking on the premises," a ministry spokesman said. "We are pushing to enshrine this in law to raise awareness about the huge socioeconomic damage caused by drinking."
The government will also toughen regulations on alcohol advertising, making it mandatory for adverts to carry warnings and banning them from public transportation and outdoor hoardings. Currently, the law bans alcohol commercials in cinemas before films rated for suitable for youngsters and on TV before 10 p.m.
The decision comes amid alarming statistics on binge drinking in Korea. According to a survey on mental illness that the ministry carried out in 2011, one in five male adults, or 20.7 percent, experiences alcohol-related disorders at least once in their life.
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