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Tougher Measures Planned to Curb Songkran Road Carnage

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BANGKOK – In a bid to end the recurring scourge of road accidents and the huge number of fatalities during the long Songkran holidays, the Thai government is implementing tougher measures, including a 15-day immediate detention or the use of electronic monitoring (EM) bracelets for those caught drunk driving.

Thailand is notorious for the high number of road accidents, with crashes and casualties reaching a tragic peak during long-holiday festivals such as Songkran. In 2017, the seven-day accident-monitoring period for Songkran reported a new high of 3,690 accidents compared to 3,447 in 2016 and 3,373 in 2015.

The Office of the Judiciary secretary-general, Sarawut Benjakul, yesterday said 5,000 EM bracelets had been arranged for those placed on probation for drunk-driving – people whose alcohol level at the time of arrest is 50-250mg per cent of alcohol. This will prevent them from going out between 10pm to 5am during the long holidays.

The measure is to start on a pilot basis this Songkran in Don Muang and Phra Nakhon Nua court jurisdiction areas – known to have the most number of drunk-driving cases in the capital, he said.

Those with an alcohol level at the time of arrest above 251mg will be locked up for 15 days thout bail, Don Muang Court head judge Prasert Lopradit said.

After 15 days of detention or EM use on offenders, the two courts’ judges may consider giving an extended sentence of up to one year if the offenders had no remorse and showed a tendency to repeat the drunk driving offence.

Source: The Nation