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Forget drink-drivers, focus on halting COVID, cops told

Forget drink-drivers, focus on halting COVID, cops told

THAILAND: Police have suspended the use of checkpoints to test motorists for drink-driving, citing the need to concentrate on stopping the spread of COVID-19.

CoronavirusCOVID-19policealcoholSafety
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 21 April 2021, 08:44AM


The new order applies to all police units and is being issued under the state of emergency to stem the latest surge in infections. Photo: Supplied.

The new order applies to all police units and is being issued under the state of emergency to stem the latest surge in infections. Photo: Supplied.

The order was signed by deputy police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, on behalf of the national police chief, and came into force on Sunday (Apr 18).

It represents a U-turn after police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk issued a directive last month that drink-driving checkpoints should resume operations nationwide from April 1, albeit with strict new guidelines.

The checkpoints were suspended last October, soon after Pol Gen Suwat took office. He promised their operations would be made more transparent.

Pol Gen Damrongsak said the new order applied to all police units and was being issued under the state of emergency to stem the latest surge in infections.

This followed 18 provinces being designated red zone “maximum control areas” and 59 provinces as “control areas”.

Police units should instead focus on monitoring mass gatherings and activities deemed to be at high risk of spreading the virus, he said.

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The order said checkpoints for alcohol tests and strict enforcement of minor traffic infringements were being suspended, especially in areas of maximum COVID control.

Checkpoints for crime prevention, drug interception and border security could continue to operate but they must not cause the public too much inconvenience, it added.

Police must also stop all social activities being held purely for entertainment purposes. Traditional ceremonies can go ahead but should have adequate disease control measures in place.

Officers must themselves follow disease control measures strictly while on duty, including wearing face masks at all times.

They must have their temperature taken before going out to work, practise social distancing and use the ThaiChana and MorChana apps.

They should also refrain from misconduct, such as heavy drinking and frequenting venues deemed at high-risk of spreading disease, the order said.

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lelecuneo | 28 April 2021 - 14:31:23

wow great from now on we can drink and drive so safely.....wtf...... 

Kurt | 21 April 2021 - 12:12:19

It confirms that a RTP Officer can only do one thing at the time when he stops you. Otherwise the work load is to heavy. No more driving license-, speed-, and helmet checks? Gone the personal  'share part' of the fines they by law entitled to.

Capricornball | 21 April 2021 - 11:23:54

You really couldn't make this stuff up.  Woeful leadership on a constant basis.  Never have I seen more irresponsible and foolish decision making. So now, the official rules are you can drive faster, and not worry about getting caught drinking and driving (not that it was ever too worrisome before)

 

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