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Jail and hefty fines await anyone caught drink driving in Pattaya


Jonathan Fairfield

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Jail and hefty fines await anyone caught drink driving in Pattaya

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Motorists in Pattaya have been warned about the risks of drink driving during the holiday season.

  • Fines of up to 20,000 Baht
  • Vehicle and driving license seized
  • Military detention and jail for those caught drunk behind the wheel
CHONBURI:-- In a joint operation between local police and the military, drivers can expect to see increased patrols and roadblocks in operation throughout Pattaya, as the authorities take a zero tolerance approach to those being caught under the influence whilst driving.

On Thursday, the National Council for Peace and Order launched its annual nationwide drink driving crackdown.

Maj-General Achichat Rojanaphirom told reporters that the crackdown has been launched as a way to return happiness to the people so that they can be safe from drunk drivers."

However this year, the authorities will impose tough new measures in a bid to cut down on the high numbers of deaths related to drink driving during the Christmas and New Year break.

On Friday, local Thai media reported that Pattaya has been identified as one of the areas in Thailand with the highest number of drink driving related accidents, with police and military ordered to strictly enforce a number of harsh new penalties for those caught drink driving.

Among the penalties in place, authorities will seize the vehicle and driving license of anyone who fails a breathalyser test or who refuses to be tested when stopped at a roadside checkpoint.

The zero tolerance approach has also resulted in soldiers and police b eing told they can hand out fines of up to 20,000 Baht to the those caught drink driving, as well as detain drivers in custody at military bases and local police stations.

Drivers who pass the breathalyzer test but who still appear to be under the influence will also be detained until authorities are satisfied they are sober.

Yesterday, Army Chief General Teerachai Nakwanich ordered soldiers to man checkpoints at all major roads throughout Pattaya during the holiday period and warned drivers they can expect to face serious consequences if they are caught drunk behind the wheel.

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-- 2015-12-26

Additional reporting: Ketsarin Gadlangka

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Drivers who pass the breathalyzer test but who still appear to be under the influence will also be detained until authorities are satisfied they are sober.

So even if your innocent, they can treat you as if your guilty.

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This would be OK if they had a good system of public transport. The lack of metered taxis here is a real pain.

Sure but that still does not excuse drinking and driving.. sure you will get gouged for hiring a baht bus but if you can afford to get drunk you can afford that ride too. You might even take a cheap hotel to sleep it off.

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This would be OK if they had a good system of public transport. The lack of metered taxis here is a real pain.

Sure but that still does not excuse drinking and driving.. sure you will get gouged for hiring a baht bus but if you can afford to get drunk you can afford that ride too. You might even take a cheap hotel to sleep it off.

Agreed. But 2 beers in an hour or so puts you over the limit and at risk of going to jail. It's been documented these devices are not 100% accurate here. Impossible to get a baht bus near my house. And very difficult to get them if you are away from Central Pattaya. Try finding any sort of transport near the lake after midnight. Very difficult, and no hotels are right next to many of these establishments.

Again, lack of metered taxis, like in Bangkok, is a real problem.

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This would be OK if they had a good system of public transport. The lack of metered taxis here is a real pain.

Sure but that still does not excuse drinking and driving.. sure you will get gouged for hiring a baht bus but if you can afford to get drunk you can afford that ride too. You might even take a cheap hotel to sleep it off.

Agreed. But 2 beers in an hour or so puts you over the limit and at risk of going to jail. It's been documented these devices are not 100% accurate here. Impossible to get a baht bus near my house. And very difficult to get them if you are away from Central Pattaya. Try finding any sort of transport near the lake after midnight. Very difficult, and no hotels are right next to many of these establishments.

Again, lack of metered taxis, like in Bangkok, is a real problem.

Sure but then just don't drink if you know you have to drive. It is annoying but that is just how it is. What do you think the prices of taxi's will be in BKK at night during newyear.. metered taxi's will extract sums of money too. So just let your wife drive or someone else that does not drink.

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So this action is happening in Pattaya and Bangkok. Does that mean the rest of Thailand can do what it always has done prior to this new strategy. Will they continue this strategy after the holiday season?

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This would be OK if they had a good system of public transport. The lack of metered taxis here is a real pain.

Sure but that still does not excuse drinking and driving.. sure you will get gouged for hiring a baht bus but if you can afford to get drunk you can afford that ride too. You might even take a cheap hotel to sleep it off.

Agreed. But 2 beers in an hour or so puts you over the limit and at risk of going to jail. It's been documented these devices are not 100% accurate here. Impossible to get a baht bus near my house. And very difficult to get them if you are away from Central Pattaya. Try finding any sort of transport near the lake after midnight. Very difficult, and no hotels are right next to many of these establishments.

Again, lack of metered taxis, like in Bangkok, is a real problem.

Sure but then just don't drink if you know you have to drive. It is annoying but that is just how it is. What do you think the prices of taxi's will be in BKK at night during newyear.. metered taxi's will extract sums of money too. So just let your wife drive or someone else that does not drink.

I don't need to be lectured about taxis in Bangkok. Lived there for many years. And am against drunk driving. Are you OK now?thumbsup.gif

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Drivers who pass the breathalyzer test but who still appear to be under the influence will also be detained until authorities are satisfied they are sober.

So even if your innocent, they can treat you as if your guilty.

Can't they stick the appropriate hologram in their bomb detector to get an accurate blood alcohol reading?

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A loose rule of thumb is 2 pints in the first hour and then a pint an hour after that... however I apply that to be 2 bottles and the 1 per hour after just to be on the safe side, if I'm out watching football (3 beers in a 90 minute match) ... if drinking Chang I'd go with 1 beer every hour as that a strong beer fella

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So this action is happening in Pattaya and Bangkok. Does that mean the rest of Thailand can do what it always has done prior to this new strategy. Will they continue this strategy after the holiday season?

They've been doing roadside checks here for some time now. I know many who've been caught. 30k is the new "fine". Pay it and you are on your way. Still drunk.

What they are doing is the right thing. Don't allow the driver back into the car until they sober up.

I've heard this is also happening in Chiang Mai. Can anybody verify that????

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Drivers who pass the breathalyzer test but who still appear to be under the influence will also be detained until authorities are satisfied they are sober.

So even if your innocent, they can treat you as if your guilty.

That makes no sense at all, and as rws85 said gives the authorities latitude once again for tea money extorsion.

If someone passes the breathalyzer and is still suspect then test them for substance/drug abuse.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for these checks if they help saving lives and make the roads safer, but if the authorities haven't got defining guidelines, then IMO this excercise will only result in traffic chaos and potentially innocent people being accused and fined.

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I don't need to be lectured about taxis in Bangkok. Lived there for many years. And am against drunk driving. Are you OK now?thumbsup.gif

Always OK craig, I am against drunk driving too. But just find that many more foreigners here think its acceptable.

I know your against it just always sounds like you defend it. I know its just a suggestion to make even less people drink and drive.

I have just never understood how people can endanger others lives for their own selfish needs. I am all for free drug use of any kind as long as you dont bother or endanger other people. I can honestly say I never ever got drunk and operated a vehicle.

Traffic is dangerous enough here as it is, no need to make it even more dangerous.

Also get tired of the .. a drunk farang is a better driver as a sober Thai attitude.

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Drivers who pass the breathalyzer test but who still appear to be under the influence will also be detained until authorities are satisfied they are sober.

So even if your innocent, they can treat you as if your guilty.

That makes no sense at all, and as rws85 said gives the authorities latitude once again for tea money extorsion.

If someone passes the breathalyzer and is still suspect then test them for substance/drug abuse.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for these checks if they help saving lives and make the roads safer, but if the authorities haven't got defining guidelines, then IMO this excercise will only result in traffic chaos and potentially innocent people being accused and fined.

They have a device on the end of their torches (flashlights) that detect the presence of alcohol in the air in a vehicle, that gives them probable cause to breathalyse you... I guess if alcohol is detected and you're the only one in the car they will stop you and determine whether or not you are sober...

I got stopped on Thappraya once and was asked if I'd had a drink and how many, I told him 2 beers at football (knocked one off as you do) and the officer said ok and waved me through. Seemed happy that I could speak Thai and appeared responsible

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Yes. I very against drive while drink. Drive while drink is suicide and put everyone on road at risk. Drink driver should have them car and license take away. There enough dead on Thai road with no allow drink driver to run up the dead number. burp.gif Thailand number 1 dead on road in ASEAN, and number 2 in World. Just say no to drink driving. 402.gif Safety First for Happy New Year. biggrin.png

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This would be OK if they had a good system of public transport. The lack of metered taxis here is a real pain.

Sure but that still does not excuse drinking and driving.. sure you will get gouged for hiring a baht bus but if you can afford to get drunk you can afford that ride too. You might even take a cheap hotel to sleep it off.

Thats ok so long as the Taxi driver is sober. I've had two accidents over the past years and both involved drunken baht bus drivers.

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This part is frightening:

Drivers who pass the breathalyzer test but who still appear to be under the influence will also be detained until authorities are satisfied they are sober.

It more or less gives police carte blanche and can, WILL be abused. How about elderly that have some balance problems or whatever...guess we'll visit them in jail.

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This would be OK if they had a good system of public transport. The lack of metered taxis here is a real pain.

Actually I think it is OK irrespective.

I am sure under normal circumstances people can get home within a 10km radius, I agree it may be more difficult, near impossible, on NYE or the early hours on New Years Day. Pattaya has cheap Songtaews for those wishing to get back to Naklua or Jomtiem areas. Motorcycle taxis for places off the usual track. Taxi fares can be controlled somewhat by using say Grab Taxi app. And my old fall back, call the Mrs! Another convenient method, if you can find 2 sober M/C taxis, is get one of them to drive your car and the other to follow. Or even a cheap room for the night.

NYE isn't easy getting home in any country, I don't think Pattaya is particularly worse.

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Just wondering how something that cheap can give a good reading. A device like that if it worked good would help a lot of people.

My brother has one and says it works great. He'll go to dinner, share a bottle of wine with his girlfriend, then do a test. He'll sit and wait, drinking water, until his BAC is OK. Then he drives home.

Interesting to note these devices are not always allowed as evidence of drunk driving back home. Some states even ban their use. And how the tests are applied is quite interesting. Seems an actual blood test is the real proof.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breathalyzer#Public_and_private_consumer_use

Other instruments, usually hand held in design, are known as "preliminary breath testers" (PBT), and their results, while valuable to an officer attempting to establish probable cause for a drunk driving arrest, are generally not admissible in court. Some states, such as Idaho, permit data or "readings" from hand-held PBTs to be presented as evidence in court. If at all, they are generally only admissible to show the presence of alcohol or as a pass-fail field sobriety test to help determine probable cause to arrest. South Dakota does not permit data from any type of breath tester, and relies entirely on blood tests to ensure accuracy.

And of course, it all depends on who you are here! LOL

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/840643-bkk-police-chief-angered-by-breathalyser-test-requests/

But this is what worries me the most!

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/606619-bangkok-police-riding-around-with-broken-breathalyzers/

BANGKOK: -- An inspection of the Bangkok police force’s breathalyzers, conducted by the Department of Medical Sciences, has revealed that almost half of the breathalyzers being carried around by Bangkok cops don’t actually work.

Niphon Popattanacha, director general of the Department of Medical Sciences, said that of the 2,558 devices his department surveyed, only 1,338, or 52.3%, functioned normally. The remaining 1,220 were either malfunctioning, or just broken.

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This would be OK if they had a good system of public transport. The lack of metered taxis here is a real pain.

Actually I think it is OK irrespective.

I am sure under normal circumstances people can get home within a 10km radius, I agree it may be more difficult, near impossible, on NYE or the early hours on New Years Day. Pattaya has cheap Songtaews for those wishing to get back to Naklua or Jomtiem areas. Motorcycle taxis for places off the usual track. Taxi fares can be controlled somewhat by using say Grab Taxi app. And my old fall back, call the Mrs! Another convenient method, if you can find 2 sober M/C taxis, is get one of them to drive your car and the other to follow. Or even a cheap room for the night.

NYE isn't easy getting home in any country, I don't think Pattaya is particularly worse.

Many of us live a long way out of town, and not in Jomtien or Naklua. Both of which are easy with regards to public transport. Other places, near impossible.

Grab Taxi works sometimes, and not so well other times. But it is a welcomed addition here!

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No doubt about it, this is aimed fair and square at non-Thai. The authorities would never issue a fine that large to a Thai, nor confiscate their vehicle. Mind you we will never see a break-down of the statistics post NYE, of numbers of Thai booked as opposed to non-Thai booked.

This will just be another example of the inappropriate (for wanting of a more accurate term) "duel pricing" system in Thailand.

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Yes let's hope this changes people's behavior, but I think it will be a long haul.

Friday morning was going to my golf at 5.30am, and passed 2 cars near the Floating Market doing about 50km / hr weaving all over the road. I am sure if stopped those drivers would have melted the breathalyzer, not just failed it.

Happy to see it as long as it is even handed. A cynic might think that this now ramps up the "consultancy fee" exchanged with the nice man in the helmet for not doing a test and waving the driver on his way. In that case any farang is going to be a marked man, for the guy in the old rusty pickup without lights it is probably a months salary and how could it possibly be collected ? How many rusty pickups can the police store at one time. Nice new Fortuna's , now that's a different matter.

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