ThaiHealth Assistant CEO Pairoj Saonuam said on Apr 6 that this year’s campaign emphasises the impacts that just one glass of alcohol can have on a driver, which can be fatal, reports NNT.
Dr Pairoj said driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.05% (50 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood) doubles the chance of encountering an accident. A blood alcohol level of 100 milligrams increases the risk of accidents by 6 times. 150 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood or above raises the risk of an accident by as much as 40 times and causes the driver to lose the ability to control the vehicle.
The campaign highlights the impact of small amounts of alcohol on drivers with statistics indicating that as many as 51% of people killed in road accidents during Songkran festivals are heads of households and 53% of Songkran road accident fatalities occur within a 5-kilometre radius of the home.
Penalties for drinking and driving have been raised, with the first offense carrying a maximum penalty of 1-year imprisonment or a fine of B5,000 to B20,000. A repeat offense transpiring within two years entails a maximum prison term of 2 years or a fine of B50,000 to B100,000 and the court will always prescribe a penalty involving both a jail term and a fine for repeat offenses. Furthermore, the driver’s license of the repeat offender will either be suspended for at least 1 year or revoked.
Dr. Pairoj said the “safe water play” areas on streets popular with Songkran revellers have been expanded to about 60 locations. The number of alcohol-free water splashing areas has been increased to about 100 nationwide.
Phra Mahathawi Phothimethi, the abbot of Buddhapanya Temple in Nonthaburi province, asked that Buddhists abstain from consuming alcohol during Songkran as it takes away people’s conscience and results in a lack of self-control.
JohnC | 08 April 2023 - 08:44:08