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Monks Behaving Badly – Police Hunt for Drunk Driving Monk in Northeastern Thailand

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CHAIYAPHUM – Police and Local officials were hunting for a monk who was stopped for driving while intoxicated, and later sped away from a temple to avoid being defrocked.

Phra Suksan Kanyen, 35, was stopped for suspected drink-driving in his black Honda Accord car, registered in Bangkok, in tambon Non Thong of Kaset Sombun district on Monday evening.

The car was seen swerving across the road just before school classes were about to end. Another man, also apparently drunk, was in the front passenger’s seat.

Praphai Ratanamongkol, chief of tambon Non Thong, said he was forced to remove Phra Suksan, a monk at Wat Ban Duea in tambon Ban Yang, from the car to prevent an accident.

The monk confessed he had been drinking with his passenger, Santi Khamla, and both were unable to speak clearly or stand steadily due to the influence of alcohol, Mr Praphai said.

Phra Suksan was brought to Wat Boriboon, where the abbot was also the ecclesiastical chief of tambon Ban Yang. Mr Praphai asked the chief to defrock him.

The chief, Phra Khru Chai-anant, planned to defrock Phra Suksan on Tuesday morning because he was too drunk to undergo the ceremony on Monday evening.

In the morning, however, the monk was nowhere to be found. Phra Khru Chai-anant learned from local residents that Phra Suksan fled Wat Boriboon early on Tuesday — still driving fast and swerving his car.