BSA Law: Sobriety Checkpoints In Thailand Now Operating Around-The-Clock

Top Quote BSA Law advises that the Royal Thai Police has ordered all sobriety checkpoints to extend their hours checking for drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to around-the-clock. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) June 05, 2015 - The move follows recent incidents in Bangkok and Chiang Mai provinces involving vehicles being drunk driven in which bicyclists were killed.

    A police spokesman said the roadblocks normally ended their checking at around 2 am to 3 am. But they would now stay in operation 24 hours.

    The spokesman also said the police would hold discussions with bicyclists on prevention measures they can take against accidents. He stressed bicyclists wanting to use main roads must have a car driving in front and behind the group, or they must coordinate with local police to provide better safety.

    Since the beginning of 2015, it has also been illegal under Thai law for the driver of a vehicle to refuse a breathalyser test in Thailand. Police are to assume anyone refusing to blow into the breathalyser when asked to do so is under the influence and may be arrested for drunk-driving.

    Before the amendment to the law, a driver could refuse to take the breath test and be fined Bt1,000. If a driver took the test and was found to be over the limit, he/she could face up to one year in prison or a fine of up to Bt20,000 and so to avoid the harsher punishment, a driver could simply refuse the test and pay the Bt1,000 fine.

    Not anymore. Now if a driver refuses to take a breathalyser test or carry out a walk-and-turn field sobriety test if asked to do so, police can assume the driver has violated the Traffic Act which prohibits driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, with the driver being arrested and charged accordingly.

    The maximum penalty for driving under the influence is 1 year in prison and a Bt20,000 fine or both.

    Meanwhile, the Land Transport Department is tightening up on the issuance of driving licences, by requiring applicants to undergo tougher written testing and to spend more time on the training course.

    The department said applicants will now have to spend 15 hours instead of only four hours on learning all relevant traffic laws, driving etiquette and safe driving. The department also said it would arrange for more channels through which motorists could have access to the revised training course.

    The written driving licence test covers 15 topics and there are 50 questions. To pass, an applicant must answer 45 of the questions correctly.

    A leading law firm in Thailand, BSA Law provides various legal services and advice to foreigners and Thais. This ranges from general Thai law and Thai labour law issues to Thailand work permit and visa processes, accounting, auditing and tax consulting, investment advice and guidance on starting a business in Thailand.

    About BSA Law:
    For over 30 years, Bamrung Suvicha Apisakdi Law Associates (BSA Law) has focused on providing reliable legal advice and services to the Thai and foreign business community in Thailand. BSA Law seeks to provide international standards of legal services while retaining the customs of the Thai business culture.

    For more information please contact:

    Jim Byrne
    Business Advisor, BSA Law.
    Email: jim ( @ ) bsalaw dot co dot th

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