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Drink-drivers hit by new insurance BAC limits

BANGKOK: Drunk-drivers with blood-alcohol concentrations (BAC) of 50 mg/dL and over will have to pay for any damages they cause as they will no longer be covered by private insurance firms, the Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) has warned.

accidents, alcohol, drugs, police, transport,

The Phuket News

Friday 2 June 2017, 02:19PM

OIC Secretary-Ggeneral Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn said the conditions in insurance policies signed from Thursday (June 1) onwards will be in line with the Road Traffic Act, which has for years set the maximum BAC limit for drivers at 50 mg/dL (milligrams of alcohol per decilitre of blood), the Bangkok Post reported yesterday. (See story here.)

Insurance companies previously allowed 150 mg/dL.

“Drink-drivers should avoid driving. The (private) insurance will not cover either life or property in the event an accident occurs and it is found the insured driver has a blood-alcohol concentration of over 50 mg/dL,” Mr Suthiphon said.

“The third party damaged by the person will still be covered but the insurance company will collect the money from the drink-driver,” he added.


However, the insurance voided is only for additional private policies, not the compulsory insurance provided under the Road Accident Victims Protection Act 1992, Mr Suthiphon clarified.

Mr Suthiphon also said 10 insurance companies have launched a new promotion that will give 10% discounts on insurance premiums for drivers who promise they will drive only when they are alcohol-free.

In a separate development, on Wednesday, new clauses on the permitted blood-alcohol concentration for drivers were published in the Royal Gazette, reducing the limit to only 20 mg/dL for some groups of drivers.

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Drivers under the age of 20 and those with only a temporary (or “provisional”) driving licence – and those caught without a valid licence – will be regarded as drink-drivers if their BAC is above 20 mg/dL.

Of note, foreigners when receiving their first Thai driver’s license are issued a “provisional” license which is valid for two years (but can be upgraded to a “full” licence after one year). During the provisional period drivers are subject to the 20 mg/dL BAC limit.

Only after holding a provisional license for a minimum of one year, and before the two-year expiry date, drivers can be issued a “permanent” (“open” or “full”) license that is valid for five years.

Under this license the BAC limit is 50 mg/dL. 

Read original Bangkok Post story here.

To see the new provisions in Thai, click here.

To see the Road Traffic Act “unofficial translation” in English as provided by the Office of the Council of State, click here.



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