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Thai law

So you think that all the laws in Thailand are the same as in your home country? Get real. Of course they’re not. This week, I’ll be giving you a check list of common offences you may not think of, and what you can expect to pay when you get caught.

Monday 5 November 2012, 04:37PM

Fines and what you can expect to pay




  1. Riding a motorbike without a helmet

You can be fined a maximum of B500 for this offence hough it’s usually less. Once you’re booked, the police officer should write you a fine ticket which you have to take to pay at the nearest police station. He’ll hang on to your driving license until you come back with a receipt for paying the fine.

  1. Not wearing a seat belt

The maximum fine is B500 but fines range between B200-300.

Some people will tell you that you can avoid all the fuss of going to the police station by negitiating to pay the officer – ahem – a mutually agreed, shall we say, informal dine, at the scene of the crime. I would, of course, know absolutely nothing about this.


2. Drunk driving

A drunk driver with more than 50mg of alcohol in his or her blood can be sentenced to one year in jail, fined B5,000-20,000 and have his or her driving licence suspended for six months.

The fine and jail time are more severe if you hurt or kill other people. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison, B200,000 fine and permanent loss of licence.

A drunken driver is booked at a police station, fined and jailed. Bail can usually be made for the driver to be free until his drink-driving charge is brought before the court by police. But make no mistake – if you are driving drunk and maim or kill someone, you are in big trouble.



  1. Parking in a no-parking zone

Many roadside parking zones alternate on odd and even dates. You might accidentally park on one side of the road on the wrong day, go about your business and return to your car to see its wheels padlocked and a parking ticket stuck under a windscreen wiper.


The parking ticket should show the name of the police officer, the explanation of the parking charge and the fine you have to pay to have your wheels unlocked.

That fine can be up to B1,000 but is usually around B500. You need to visit the the nearest police station to pay the fine and then go back, where you should find the policeman with the key waiting for you.


  1. Speeding

According to Phuket Traffic Police, the speed limit is 50kph in city area. The fine for speeding can be up to B400.

  1. Driving without a licence: B200.

  2. Not stopping at a red light: B300.



  1. Indecent exposure

This is a common charge in Phuket where tourists – male or female – sometimes go without a shirt, unaware that they can be charged with indecent exposure and fined up to B500.

Phuket Police advise that swimsuits should be worn only in pool areas or at the beach and should not be worn without other covering clothes in public places such as department stores, government buildings and especially at temples.

So when you go shopping, put a shirt on.



So there it is. Listen for more tips from me this week on how to have a – hehe – fine time in Phuket.


Have a question? Email editor@thephuketnews.com

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