Bentley driver cleared of being drunk at the wheel in three-car smash

The blood alcohol test of the Bentley driver, who caused a three-car collision last Sunday, reveals he was not drunk at the time of the pile-up. But, the investigating officer from Expressway Police Station 1 has been criticised for not making the driver take a breathalyser test immediately after the incident.

Suthat Siwapiromrat crashed his grey Bentley sedan into a fire rescue truck and black Mitsubishi Pajero Sport SUV last Sunday at 11pm. The incident left six drivers and passengers injured.

The 53 year old businessman later surrendered to the police on the night of the smash but officers did not ask the driver to take a breathalyser test despite a bottle of wine being found in his Bentley sedan.

The deputy superintendent of Expressway Police Station 1, Phichate Konpaeng, reported to the media that the driver would take a blood alcohol test at the hospital.

This decision made the victims and other Thai netizens question the working processes of the police. Some said the officers facilitated the Bentley driver because he is rich and powerful.

Thai media also released a video into the public domain of when Suthat tried to stall for time and avoid the test. They reported he was drinking a lot of water and chewing bubble gum to hide traces of alcohol in his system.

The commissioner of the Traffic Police Division, Suwitcha Jindakam, reported yesterday that he acknowledged the concerns of victims and other people about the alcohol test.

Suwitcha said the division would investigate the officer in charge of the case from Expressway Police Station 1, whether he worked honestly according to the process or not, and question why the test had not been conducted immediately after the incident.

The deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, Jirasan Kaewsaeng-ek, explained later that the police did not help the driver.

Jirasan said the Bentley driver had a chest injury and it would have been difficult for him to blow into a breathalyser. The investigating police officer thought the result would be more accurate if he took a blood test.

According to Channel 3, the Police General Hospital’s alcohol test result was released today, and the alcohol content in Suthat’s blood revealed only 0.01% or 10 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

The blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers in Thailand is 0.05%, so it was concluded that Suthat was not drunk while driving.

The director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborative Centre, Dr Witthaya Chartbanchachai, revealed via an interview with Channel 3 that a breathalyser testing device is accurate even with a very mild blow. So, the pain in the chest should not be a problem.

Witthaya said that it takes a human body two hours to metabolize 40 milligrams of alcohol. The driver of the Bentley was tested approximately four hours after the accident, so it was anticipated that the alcohol level would have decreased to half of the initial measurement.

Witthaya also noted that the police officers usually considered a driver as being under the influence if they refused to take a breath alcohol test, but this practice appears to be different in this particular case.

The charges and conclusion of the case will be announced later by the Metropolitan Police Bureau.

ORIGINAL STORY: 6 victims injured after Bentley crashes into two cars

A millionaire driver crashed his luxury Bentley car into an SUV and a fire rescue pickup on the Chalerm Maha Nakhon Expressway in Bangkok in the early hours of Sunday, which left six victims injured. The driver fled from the scene and refused to take an alcohol test.

A 53 year old businessman, Suthat Siwapiromrat, crashed his grey Bentley sedan into a fire rescue truck and a black Mitsubishi Pajero Sport SUV after he tried to overtake the two cars on the Chalerm Maha Nakhon Expressway at 1am yesterday, January 8.

One driver and three passengers from the SUV, including a four-year-old child, as well as two firefighters from the fire rescue pickup, were injured. One of the SUV victims suffered a broken arm while the others escaped with minor injuries.

Thai media added that the crash consequently made the firefighters late to tackle a blaze in the Sukhumvit area.

CCTV on the road revealed that Suthat took a taxi and fled the accident scene. The rescuers ran after the taxi, tried to stop him, and demanded he took an alcohol test. He said he was not drunk and left the scene.

The rescue team also informed the media that they found an opened bottle of wine in Suthat’s car.

The deputy superintendent of Expressway Police Station 1, Phichate Konpaeng, gave an interview with the media yesterday. He said the suspect, Suthat, later surrendered himself to the police and is willing to compensate the victims.

Phichate said Suthat was initially charged with violating Section 43(4) and Section 157 of the Land Transport Act: whoever drives recklessly or dangerously, and that action causes damage to another person’s assets, shall be punished with a fine from 400 baht to 1,000 baht.

Suthat was also charged with violating Section 390 of the Criminal Law: whoever drives recklessly and causes injuries to another person’s body or mind shall be punished with imprisonment up to one month, a fine up to 10,000 baht, or both.

The deputy superintendent reported Suthat would undergo a blood test to measure his alcohol level at the hospital. If it is proven he was drunk, police would issue more charges against Suthat.

The victims and Thai netizens were worried that the suspect would use his power and money to escape the charges and pressured the police and relevant departments to process the case transparently.

Thai media reported that Suthat was on the executive board of seven companies in Thailand including two estate agents, including Thaiwattana Asset and Ektaveesin Development, one instant food production named Touch Me Food, three construction material retail companies including Benefit Development, Maga Work Corporation, and Max Trade, and one fresh market operator named Hatairat Complex.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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