Tougher tests for drunk drivers

Legal limit unchanged but more test options added, along with timely hospital testing

Tougher tests for drunk drivers
A policeman conducts a breathalyser test on a motorist at a roadside checkpoint in Bangkok on Nov 15 last year. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

The cabinet on Tuesday approved regulations proposed by the Royal Thai Police to improve alcohol testing of motorists, said deputy government spokesman Kharom Polpornklang.

Mr Kharom said the new rules were drafted in line with Sections 5 and 142 of the Land Transport Act and were reviewed by the ministries of justice and public health, the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Court of Justice.

According to the spokesman, the legal limit for alcohol remains unchanged at 0.05%, or 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

The alcohol breath test and blood test also remain unchanged, but levels of alcohol can also now be tested in other body fluids such as urine, he said.

In case of an accident, if a motorist is suspected of being drunk, has violated the law and refuses to take a test, police can assume that the person is driving under the influence and take legal action.

If an arrest is made, police must send the suspect to a hospital for alcohol testing within three hours of being notified.

The regulations will be examined by the Council of State, the government’s legal adviser, before they take effect, said Mr Kharom.