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New police chief stops drink-driving checkpoints over corruption issues




Thailand’s new police chief has temporarily placed a stop on drink-driving checkpoints over alleged corruption issues in the police department. Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk made the announcement at a meeting yesterday, just a day after starting his new position.

“There must not be roadside examination. It must be done at a hospital. Above all so that people can have confidence that they will not be cheated. Until we can do that, we will set them at zero for now.”

The new police chief says that there had been “questions” raised about the reliability of testing for alcohol and the final test results following many complaints from people that had been wrongly charged and convicted. As a result, he was suspending the drink-driving checkpoints until “checks and balances” were in place to guarantee transparency.

Suwat has also ordered 5,000 CCTV cameras to be installed in Bangkok in the next 4 months, saying detectives can no longer make excuses about not having cameras capture police operations. He says gambling dens, online gambling or any buying of police positions will not be allowed as he wants all officers to be well-trained to combat the corruption issues that have made the Thai police infamous over the years.

One step is to remove overlapping police roles and hire more officers to patrol areas. Under Thai law, those charged with drunk driving face having their driver’s licenses suspended, up to 10 years in jail and/or a 200,000 baht fine. However, historically, police officers and the courts have been known to be lenient in upholding such laws by giving such law-breakers a suspended sentence. Such a suspension means drivers can get back on the roads without receiving any kind of punishment as long as they are not caught again.

The drink driving issue in Thailand is notorious for causing fatal accidents, with the WHO reporting that 26% of road deaths involve alcohol in the Kingdom.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times


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  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 10:13 am

    Good start Khun Police Chief

  2. Avatar


    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    It looks like the new Police Chief means business!! It will restore public confidence in the Police Force and weed out corruption. Well done Sir!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 6:52 pm

      Hope springs eternal …..

  3. Avatar


    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    I sometimes come on my motorcycle from Malaysia to Phuket. I always get stopped 3-4 times by the police for no apparent reason but to check paperwork and extort money. White foreigner on a foreign bike means bahts! After checking my paperwork, all in order, they ask for money, usually 200-500 baht. The best way to avoid paying this I found is to take out the money and ask for a receipt. “No receipt” is the usual response. So I take out my phone, hold the money in front of him and say “ok, then I take picture as receipt”. “Go” is the usual response, usually in anger but sometimes with a smile.

    • Avatar


      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 6:06 pm

      Good idea !

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 11:40 pm

      Don’t feel picked on as a foreigner, white or otherwise.

      It happens to Thais all the time, with the only difference being that you’re told “go” while they’re not.

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Don’t feel that you’re being given special treatment as a foreigner, white or any other colour, apart from being told “Go”.

    Thais have to put up with this on a routine basis.

  5. Avatar


    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    Up to 10 years jail, and why not.

    A friend in UK got killed by a drink driver,

    He got 2 years, will serve about one.
    Far too lenient.

  6. Avatar


    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    Farangs have told me you can also pay 20,000 baht if you are stopped and you are over the alcohol limit, you have to do it in secret of course I was told and you are then allowed to drive home.

    I don’t know if that is true but I do know the alcohol limit for farangs is lower than for Thai nationals and you will be over the limit after drinking just one small beer.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      ” … I do know the alcohol limit for farangs is lower than for Thai nationals and you will be over the limit after drinking just one small beer.”

      You “know” that, do you? So you could quote the law for that?

      • Avatar


        Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 8:12 pm

        Issan John

        I know the education level in Issan is not that high compared to the rest of Thailand but this fact is simple.

        “The legal limit while driving on a 1 to 2-year Thai driving license or international driving permit is 0.02 (20 milligrams). This legal limit equates to grams of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. To stay on the right side of the law you should only be having 1 or 2 drinks before driving.”

        Look it up, the info is free to anyone who can read.

        99% of farangs visiting Thailand will be using an international licence.

        I know there are some farangs with Thai licences but they are only a tiny proportion of the 30 million foreign tourists each year.

        Is there anything else you want me to teach you?

  7. Avatar


    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 12:02 am

    Indonesia have the same problem. I usually overcome the requests to contribute to the local police officers entertainment accounts by consequently replying in my native Scandinavian language and never giving them any documents. It is 100% fool proof. Sorry for you guys who only have English as your mother tongue.

  8. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 10:23 am

    I was once stopped on a rented motorbike, and the copper was saying mark spencer.
    Mark Spencer? I said, I am not Mark Spenser.
    He wanted me to bring Marks and Spenser cologne to Thailand for him the next time I arrive.
    I did not pay anything and they waved me on.
    Later the person that rented me the motor bike told me that he paid the cops for every bike he had so that they would not fine his customers.

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