Drunk drivers could face jail time during Songkran in Thailand

Thailand has decided to fight with drunk driving during the long Songkran holiday, when road accidents are expected to surge

Drunk drivers caught during Songkran celebrations face jail time in Thailand

Drink and drive motorists or motorcyclists caught by police during the long Songkran holiday, between Monday and Sunday next week, are more likely to be sent to jail without suspension if convicted, as authorities vow to get tough on drunk driving, traditionally one of the major causes of road accidents during the holidays.

Pol Maj-Gen Raveepan Amornmuneepong, deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 6, said yesterday that police recently discussed measures to discourage drunk driving with senior judicial and corrections officials. The measures include the court’s exercise of discretion when handing out suspended jail terms to those convicted of drunk driving.

All agreed that drunk driving must be dealt with decisively during the long holidays and that the courts should not suspend jail terms, he said.

Pol Maj-Gen Raveepan has been made responsible for overseeing traffic management in nine northern provinces during the Songkran holidays. Besides traffic problems, particularly drunk driving, he said that the police have launched a program for the festive period to enable householders in the nine northern provinces to put their houses under the care of the police while they are away.

Meanwhile, the Thai Red Cross Society is urging the public to donate blood during the holiday period, when road accidents are expected to surge.

Associate Professor Dr. Dutjai Chaivanichsiri, director of the National Blood Centre, said that they have been running low on blood reserves since January and they need blood in reserve for use during the holidays.

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