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Drunk Drivers Still the Major Cause of Road Fatalities Over New Years

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Drunk Driving Still the Major Cause of Road Fatalities Over New Years

The Department of Probation reports nearly 900 drunk drivers have been arrested and placed on court-ordered probation during the first 3 days of the “7 dangerous days” of Thailand’s New Year holiday.

Witthawan Sunthornkhajit, director-general of the department, said as of Friday 875 drivers were placed on probation for drunk driving on Dec 29–31st. 585 of whom were placed on probation on Dec 31 alone, he said.

Chaiyaphum province reported the most drunk driving cases with 105, followed by Chanthaburi with 104 and Buri Ram with 99. A total of 13 people have been ordered to wear an Electronic Monitoring (EM) bracelets. They are also to remain at home from 11pm to 4am for 30 days.

Thai law stipulates that those caught drinking and driving face up to one year in prison, a fine up to 20,000 baht, and a driver’s license suspension of at least 6 months. However in reality, most Thais caught violating Thailand’s drunk driving laws are rarely face stiff penalties. Most getting away with a fine and a suspended sentence.

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The legal blood alcohol limit in Thailand is 0.5 grams of alcohol per litre of blood. However, for drivers that have held their license for less than five years, the limit is 0.2 grams per litre of blood.

The government is trying to reduce drink driving, and breath testing stops are becoming more common. On average, 118.8 people are killed for every 100,000 vehicles on Thailand’s roads. Over one-quarter of all Thailand road accidents are due to drunk driving.

The Ministry of Transport reported over 4.69 million people used public transport on Dec 29–31, a drop of 31.1% when compared with the same period in 2019.

A total of 6.24 million vehicles entered and exited Bangkok on Dec 29–31, a drop of 13% when compared with the same period in 2019. Most of the vehicles were private owned.

Speeding was the main cause of 777 road accidents on Dec 29–31, up by 23.2% when compared with figures from the same period in 2019. Most of the accidents involved motorcycles, according to the Transport Ministry.

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