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Blood test rule urged for drink driving

BANGKOK: The Public Health Ministry will push for a rule to allow blood tests for alcohol on motorists who cannot take a breathalyser test as part of an effort to curb drink-driving.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 5 April 2022, 09:22AM

Photo: Bangkok Post

Photo: Bangkok Post

Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha said motorists who break traffic laws would, under a new rule, need to undergo blood tests for alcohol if they don’t take a breath test.

“If they refuse a breathalyser test they are deemed drunk. Those who cannot take a breathalyser test, [will under the new rule] have to undergo a blood test at the discretion of the attending officer,” he said.

The test results will be kept on file for consideration when they apply to renew their driving licences, he said.

Mr Sathit said a certain amount of budget was spent on blood tests - done without the need of a rule - on motorists during the road safety “seven dangerous days” campaign over the New Year holiday, reports the Bangkok Post.

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Opas Karnkawinpong, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) chief, said that the DDC is responsible for enforcing the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, adding that a blood test for alcohol costs about B1,000 for each motorist.

About B1-2 million was spent carrying out blood tests on motorists during a road safety campaign over the New Year holiday, Dr Opas said.

During the New Year holiday period, the Department of Medical Sciences analysed a total of 784 blood samples, 55% of which had alcohol levels exceeding the legal limit.

If the new rule is to be applied, between B20-30mn will be needed annually to conduct blood tests on motorists who cannot take breathalyser tests, Dr Opas said.

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Kurt | 07 April 2022 - 09:49:55

Am surprised that Thailand has no demanding breath/blood test for motorist. As usual they build in a escape for people who are willing to pay a bribe to RTP not to be tested. The escape venom is in the sentence: .. "people who not take a breathalyser test have to undergo a blood test, AT DISCRETION of attending RTP Officer. There we go. Why in Thai laws is always room for corruption.

christysweet | 05 April 2022 - 17:54:38

No occifer, I canooot tak a bweath twest- I pwead the Fifth- (a fifth of liquor..) 

christysweet | 05 April 2022 - 17:15:35

'Cannot'?  Poor choice of term there and hopefully just an error in translation. 

Kurt | 05 April 2022 - 11:19:41

This article is a fine example how Thai can talk a simple matter to become a 'problem'. At the end they don't know how to think through/handle it, and everything sinks down/evaporate. Why Government should pay for blood tests of people who refuse to do a breath test? Seem to be 'budget set-up' try. Including 30% commission?

JohnC | 05 April 2022 - 10:11:35

Care to explain what is actually meant by 'cannot take a breathalyser'? Will not I understand but cannot?? Surely you don't believe there are people who cannot blow in to a tube. If their health were that bad they wouldn't be able to breathe normal air.

Kurt | 05 April 2022 - 09:59:41

What is the problem?  Adjust the law in such wat that when a moterist refuses a free of charge breathalyser test he/she has to undergo a blood test, including paying for it. 


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