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How much do I pay the Phuket police?

Have you ever been stopped and fined by the Phuket police, but the fine seems to be 'negotiable'? Here's why police in Phuket are able to negotiate the fines they levy against lawbreakers.


By The Phuket News

Monday 6 June 2016, 09:45AM


If you're caught with an outdated road tax on your motorbike, how much you pay for the fine can be negotiated with the police. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

If you're caught with an outdated road tax on your motorbike, how much you pay for the fine can be negotiated with the police. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

QUESTION

I received a fine for expired tax on my motorcycle on Songkran Day (Apr 13) at a checkpoint in Wichit. At the time, an officer asked me to pay a fine of B2,500. As I did not have that amount of money on me, I was told to attend Wichit Police Station to pay the fine. Once the fine had been paid, I would receive my licence back.

I went to the station to pay the fine, which turned out to be only B500. However, when the duty officer tried to find my licence, it was not with all the other licences that the officer said were stored in order of the date they had been held, or with other bundles of other licences held.

A phone call was made and within minutes the officer who had originally requested the B2,500 fine from me turned up with my licence still in his possession.

First, can you please confirm what the actual fine should be for expired tax on a motorcycle, and also advise if it is normal procedure for an officer to personally hold an individuals driving licence.

– Matt, Wichit

 

ANSWER

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

If you were found operating vehicle with expired road tax, police are authorized to fine you up to B2,000 baht under the new penalties of the Motor Vehicles Act as approved by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

Police officers have power granted by the Thai Royal Police and the NCPO to make a decision on how much fine a motorist is to pay if caught driving on public roads with expired road tax, but the fine is only up to B2,000. Any fines more than that must be levied by the provincial court.

The amount of the fine without going to court is usually negotiated between the officer and the motorist and depends on the situation or the charges. Factors such as time and duration that the tax has expired, the reason why it has not been renewed can be calculated to help the officer determine the amount of fine.

We try to be as reasonable and flexible as possible when issuing fines. If you have been driving with tax expired for several years, were involved in accident or worse – say, you were caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – you can expect pay a hefty fine.

Language barriers can be a problem for us, especially when we are dealing with tourists who do not speak or understand Thai. They often end up not paying the fine or paying late, which will cost them more.

Officers hold onto licenses or identification cards until the fine is paid and normally they bring all seized items to the police station where they work within eight hours. The officer should not hold onto seized items, but sometime officers do forget to turn them in on time but we will return your belongings after you pay the fine.

– Lt Col Pisit Chuenpet, Deputy Superintendent of the Wichit Police.

 

 

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Sam hayman | 07 June 2016 - 20:06:55

I was fined 15,000 bht cash at a checkpoint for riding while intoxicated and then allowed to ride home. Is this excessive?

CC | 06 June 2016 - 19:10:08

So it was a "language barrier" that caused the patrol officer to charge the guy five times as much for the same infraction as was requested at the police station? Right. And then he simply "forgot" to hand in the licence later. Self serving scumbags. 

Richard Vickers | 06 June 2016 - 18:34:25

"Police officers have power granted by the Thai Royal Police and the NCPO to make a decision on how much fine a motorist is to pay". My god...what a farce.

simon01 | 06 June 2016 - 11:21:46

That depends on the time of year. If its near New Year or other festival when they need money to buy presents or party then they prefer lots of small amounts is better. The best way is to leave the bike where it is and go to the police station to pay. Then the amount is smaller normally 300 baht depending on offence. Then its paid and logged. Just pay on the street and then who knows where the mon...

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