Police announce return of drink driving checkpoints, just in time for Songkran

PHOTO: Flickr / the foreign photographer

Thailand’s deputy police chief says drink-driving checkpoints will return from tomorrow, following a 6-month hiatus to weed out corrupt practices. Last October, national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk put a stop to all police checkpoints, including those checking for drink driving offences, after several complaints of corruption among officers. Following an overhaul, his deputy, Damrongsak Kittiprapas, says the checks will return in some locations, including Bangkok, from tomorrow.

According to a Nation Thailand report, the police checks will include drink-driving checkpoints where drivers may be subject to breathalyser tests. Damrongsak says the use of CCTV cameras, including body cams on officers, will ensure transparency.

“To ensure transparent operations by officers at these checkpoints, police have started installing CCTV cameras at the points as well as body cameras on officers to record their interaction with road users. Checkpoints in some provinces are now ready to operate again, such as in Bangkok, Ubon Ratchathani, and Nakhon Ratchasima.”

He adds that the checkpoints will have a sign informing drivers that CCTV is in use. If anyone wishes to file a complaint, the signs will also provide the phone number of the local commanding officer. Damrongsak says the checkpoints are being re-instated in time for the upcoming Songkran holiday, when tens of thousands of people are expected to take to the road.

“We want to start opening these checkpoints as early as April 1, as the Songkran festival is approaching, and a high volume of traffic is expected. Having these DUI checkpoints will greatly help reduce road accidents caused by drunk driving.”

He adds that procedures have been put in place to weed out unauthorised checkpoints, with all official stations now included in a specially designed database.

“Besides installing CCTV cameras, we have established the Traffic Police Checkpoint Control database to list all checkpoints in the areas to reduce an overlap. Commanding officers can use this database to easily check if there are any unauthorised checkpoints in their areas.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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