The episode began when the man approached the checkpoint just south of the Makro store on Wiset Rd on his motorbike, but instead of stopping at the checkpoint, he pulled over early and parked by the side of the road. He then walked down the middle of the road up to the checkpoint.
The officers screened the man – who they referred to only as “Uncle”, a Thai term of endearment for older men – for high body temperature and asked him where he was going.
“Uncle” replied that he was going to visit a friend.
Although the man did not have a fever, the officers soon suspected “Uncle” was drunk.
The officers asked Uncle if he had been drinking alcohol. Uncle replied that he had been drinking, but assured that he was not drunk.
At this stage, Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos, who was at the checkpoint with other Rawai officials to provide encouragement to the officers and volunteers on duty, took an interest in Uncle’s antics.
He asked Uncle to walk straight along a yellow line painted in the middle of the road. Uncle obliged, and started wobbling along the line.
Wanting to be sure of his opinion of whether Uncle was indeed drunk, Mayor Aroon then asked him to turn left, then asked him to turn right. Uncle proved he was unable to complete the manoeuvres.
Mayor Aroon asked Uncle where he had bought his liquor from, considering there is currently a ban on the sale of alcohol across the island. Uncle replied simply that he had stocked up at home before the ban kicked in.
Deciding to not take any legal action against Uncle, or even have him tested for drunk driving, Mayor Aroon arranged for him to be taken home in a pickup truck.
In sharing photos and a video showing Uncle at the checkpoint, Mayor Aroon pointed out, “If I let him go it might have caused him to get into an accident.”
The photos and video have been shared widely on Thai social media in Phuket, drawing a mixed response from online viewers.
It was not reported what time the incident took place.