The support came after 30 members of the StopDrink Network massed at the Ministry of Public Health headquarters in Bangkok yesterday (Dec 22) and submitted a petition with the Permanent Secretary for Public Health M.D. Sophon Mekthon.
The petition calls for the ministry to issue a regulation requiring everyone involved in a road accident to undergo a BAC test to determine the alcohol level in their blood.
Backing the petition, the minister said such a regulation would significantly reduce the number of road fatalities and would provide sufficient evidence for prosecutors to pursue legal action against drunk drivers, reported state news agency NNT. (See story here.)
Late last year, Lt Col Theerawat Liamsuwan, Deputy Superintendent of the Traffic Police Division of the Phuket City Police, reminded motorists should that much harsher penalties for drunk driving were introduced in 2015.
Under the new laws, the BAC limit for professional and commercial drivers, and drivers under 24 years old, remains zero, and the legal BAC limit for all other drivers is 0.05%.
The current penalties for drunk driving are:
- Drunk driving: Up to one year imprisonment or a fine of B5,000 to B20,000 or both, and driver’s license suspended for six months.
- Drunk driving causing bodily or mental harm to others: One to five years imprisonment or a fine of B20,000 to B100,000 or both, and driver’s license suspended for up to one year.
- Drunk driving causing serious injury to others: Two to six years imprisonment or a fine of B40,000 to B120,000 or both, and driver’s license suspended for up to two years.
- Drunk driving causing death: Three to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of B60,000 to B200,000 and your driver’s license will be cancelled. Whether you will be allowed to apply for a driver’s license again during your lifetime is up to the court.