Taling Chan Provincial Court yesterday handed the sentence to Somchai Werotepipat, 57, owner of Thai Carbon & Graphite Co, said to be the largest manufacturer of industrial brushes and mechanical carbon in Southeast Asia. He was arrested after crashing his Mercedes-Benz E250 into a Suzuki Swift in Thawi Watthana district on April 12.
Two people inside the Suzuki were killed -- Pol Lt Col Chatuporn Ngamsuwittchakun, 48, deputy chief of the Crime Suppression Division's Subdivision 2, and his wife, Nutchanat, 44. Their 12-year-old daughter, Pitchayapha was seriously injured.
Somchai's blood alcohol reading after the crash was 260mg/dL, several times over the legal limit.
He was initially charged with murder and attempted murder in accordance with a government campaign to curb drink driving during the Songkran festival.
The Taling Chan court rejected both charges and accepted three others: drink driving causing death, reckless driving causing serious injury and drink driving causing property damage.
The court initially sentenced him to the maximum six years in prison and a fine of 200,000 baht. The sentence was commuted to three years and a fine of 100,000 baht because of Somchai's repentance, compensation for the victims and his criminal free record. The jail sentence was then suspended for three years. He was ordered to report regularly to the Probation Department for two years, do 48 hours community service, and not to drink any kind of alcohol.
Somchai said he was grateful to those affected by his actions for their forgiveness, and had already decided to quit alcohol for life.
He earlier paid compensation of about 45 million baht -- including 15 million baht each for the victims' two teenage daughters, and 2.5 million baht for each family of the late couple. He bought a new car for the family and paid for medical treatment.
He will also support the daughters each month by giving them 10,000 baht each, and 20,000 for the family's general expenses for eight years.
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