The strict measure was aimed at deterring people from drunk driving as a way of reducing the number of road deaths and injuries during the busy period, Phuket City Police Chief Col Kamol Osiri confirmed to The Phuket News.
The Seven Days campaign will start at midnight as Phukiet enters Dec 29 and end at midnight at the close of Jan 4, Col Kamol said.
“Officers will be posted at many police checkpoints across the island to help with prevent traffic jams, to provide assistance and safety for travellers during the New Year holidays.
“During this period, we will have local rescue workers as well as local administrative authorities in each area to help us provide maximum safety for all,” he said.
Drunk drivers will be specifically be targeted, Col Kamol noted.
“During the campaign, we will seize the driving licence and vehicle of any people caught drunk driving. Both will be kept at the police station until the Seven Days campaign is over,” he said.
“We will also seize rental vehicles of foreigners caught drunk driving,” Col Kamol noted.
“The owner or representative of the rental-vehicle company must come to collect it after Seven Days are over. However, the owner or representative must bring the rental agreement that the foreigner signed in order to claim the vehicle back,” he warned.
Harsher penalties for drunk driving were introduced last year. Under the new laws, the BAC (blood-alcohol concentration) 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 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 licence 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 licence 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 licence 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 licence will be cancelled. Whether you will be allowed to apply for a driver’s licence again during your lifetime is up to the court.