The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) has sounded a warning to bar owners operating outside business hours.

In a public notice Thursday, NACADA Chairman Dr. Stephen Mairori also raised concerns over the mushrooming of bars and wine and spirits outlets across the country.

He noted that most of these outlets are in service well before the required time of 5 pm and continue operations past 11 pm.

“NACADA would like to remind proprietors of bars, wines and spirits, clubs and all other alcohol dispensing outlets of the provisions of the fourth schedule of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010 which clearly stipulates the operating hours which are between 5:00 PM and 11:00 PM on weekdays and 2:00 PM and 11:00 PM on weekends and public holidays,” Mairori said.

The NACADA Chair also raised alarm over the proliferation of bars in residential areas and around schools and learning institutions.

“This has been compounded by the proliferation of wines and spirits outlets which blatantly allow drinking of alcohol on site and dispensing of the same to children below eighteen years,” he said.

Dr. Mairori stated bars should be established at least 300 meters away from any learning institution used by minors, any place of worship, health facility or public playground.

NACADA will also crack down on dispensing outlets that are not compliant with public health standards.

“The country is witnessing an increase in contraband and second-rate alcoholic drinks as has been highlighted in various media outlets. This presents a severe health challenge to consumers,” Dr. Mairori said.

“Accordingly, and in support of the Presidential directive, NACADA is immediately embarking on coordination of all responsible multi-agency bodies to ensure that the requirements of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010 are strictly adhered to and that only those premises that meet the requirements of the aforementioned law shall be allowed to operate. “

NACADA also urged county governments to exercise caution when considering bar licensing applications from prospective operators.