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In photos: Saigon beer parlors struggle under new drunk driving law

Wednesday, January 08, 2020, 21:20 GMT+7
In photos: Saigon beer parlors struggle under new drunk driving law
A beer parlor on Pham Van Dong Street in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City is completely empty. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

The number of customers at many beer parlors in Ho Chi Minh City has dropped significantly since traffic police began strictly enforcing the country’s new law on drunk driving, which took effect this month.

Business has been slow at many beer parlors in District 7, Thu Duc District, Binh Thanh District, and Go Vap District over the past days, according to the observation of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters.

A beer parlor on Nguyen Bieu Street in District 5 is crowded in this photo captured in 2019, before Vietnam’s new law on drunk driving took effect. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

A beer parlor on Nguyen Bieu Street in District 5 is crowded in this photo captured in 2019, before Vietnam’s new law on drunk driving took effect. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

A beer parlor on Nguyen Bieu Street in District 5 is empty in this photo captured in 2020, after Vietnam’s new law on drunk driving took effect. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

A beer parlor on Nguyen Bieu Street in District 5 is empty in this photo captured in 2020, after Vietnam’s new law on drunk driving took effect. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s new law on drunk driving, which came into effect on January 1, stipulates that drivers must be completely sober while operating bicycles, motorbikes, automobiles, and any other vehicles on Vietnam’s roads.

Violators face fines many times higher than what were stated in the previous law, as well as tougher punishments including having their driving license revoked for up to 24 months.

A beer shop in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 19, 2019. Photo: Nguyen Cong Thanh / Tuoi Tre

A beer shop in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 19, 2019. Photo: Nguyen Cong Thanh / Tuoi Tre
A beer shop in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City on January 7, 2020. Photo: Nguyen Cong Thanh / Tuoi Tre
A beer shop in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City on January 7, 2020. Photo: Nguyen Cong Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Thi Thuy, owner of a beer parlor on Pham Van Dong Street, estimated that the number of her customers has dropped by 30 percent since the law came into force.

“We previously sold up to 10-24 crates of beer a day. Now it takes us three days to sell a similar amount,” Thuy elaborated.

The same situation is reported at beer shops in the Trung Son Area, located in District 7 and Binh Chanh District.

A venue in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City is pictured at 8:20 pm. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

A venue in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City is pictured at 8:20 pmPhoto: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

At several other venues on Nguyen Huu Tho Street, owners have grown worried as more and more tables are unoccupied by the day.

“People face a serious fine for having just a few drinks. It’s no wonder why they have stopped coming here,” a security guard stated.

Slow business at a venue in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Slow business at a venue in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Similarly, employees at multiple beer parlors on Nguyen Thi Thap Street in District 7 appeared laid back during their shift, either chatting with each other or playing games on their smartphones next to empty tables.

“If business remains slow for a long time, we may not be able to afford the rent and salary for our employees,” an owner said.

Empty tables at a beer parlor on Nguyen Thi Thap Street in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

Empty tables at a beer parlor on Nguyen Thi Thap Street in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

Empty tables at a beer parlor in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Empty tables at a beer parlor in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Employees play mobiles games at an empty beer bar in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Employees play mobiles games at an empty beer place in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

A beer bar in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

A beer place in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

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