No breathalyser test for Phuket resort owner after crash, police say he didn’t smell like alcohol
Police did not test the alcohol levels of the well-known owner of the Sri Panwa luxury resort in Phuket after he lost control of his Bentley, crashing into a steel barrier and causing the car to flip multiple times before it set on fire. The owner of the five-star resort had crashed another car almost exactly a year prior and was treated in the intensive care unit.
This month, 40 year old Vorasit “Pla Wan” Issara crashed his Bentley into a steel barrier as he was driving around a bend in the southern province Phang Nga. Pla Wan and his friends came out of the accident unscathed as they managed to escape the car before it set fire. Pla Wan was charged with reckless driving and causing damage to property, but police did not have his blood alcohol levels measured following the incident, because they “did not smell alcohol”, according to the police station’s Facebook page.
Lawyer Somchai Ameen said that the officers involved have neglected their duty by not ordering the driver to have his alcohol levels tested and in turn may have intentionally assisted Pla Wan in escaping punishment.
The Road Traffic Act 1999 prohibits driving while intoxicated and violators face imprisonment of no more than one year, or a fine of 5,000-20,000 baht and suspension of their licence for at least six months. If the driver is insured, insurance companies will request the results of blood alcohol tests, and if the driver is found to be drunk driving the insurance company will not protect them.
Plawan was charged with reckless driving and causing damage to property, namely the steel barrier, and paid a fine of 1000 baht at Thai Muang Police station, but his alcohol levels were not tested, according to a statement released on their Facebook page.
The officers at the scene spoke to Plawan for ten minutes and “did not smell alcohol” so they did not suspect drunk driving, according to Muang Thai Police Station’s Facebook page.
Station chief Boriboon Yoosuksomboon said an alcohol test was not necessary as there were no serious injuries or deaths or other parties involved.
Somchai said that, if drunk driving causes multiple accidents, the driver’s licence should be suspended or revoked. Whether the incident causes injuries or not, the officers are still liable to test the driver’s alcohol levels, the lawyer added.
Almost a year ago, Pla Wan crashed his car into a power pole in Phuket and was seriously injured. It was never confirmed whether he underwent alcohol testing then, either.
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