Nationwide Helmet Law/Drink Driving

Mar 15, 2003
From Bangkok Post today;



Penalties stiffen for drunk drivers

The cabinet yesterday approved harsher punishment for motorists convicted of drunk driving, including losing their licence. Amendments to the Land Traffic Act, which since 1979 has dealt with drink-driving offences, were approved to impose fines up to 200,000 baht and jail terms up to 10 years for violators who had caused road accidents.

The existing law had proven ''inappropriate and inconsistent'' to properly deal with the current situation, said government spokesman Yongyuth Maiyalarp.

The amended law will give officials more power to deal with the rising number of drunk drivers by empowering courts to more easily suspend or cancel drivers' licences, he said.

''If motorists kill someone, they will be sent to jail for three to 10 years, be fined between 60,000 and 200,000 baht, and their driving licences will be cancelled,'' Mr Yongyuth said.

If a drunk driver seriously injures someone, their licence will be suspended for at least one year, Mr Yongyuth said.

The law also imposes heavier penalties on motorcyclists who do not wear helmets.

Motorcyclists without helmets will be fined 500 baht. The fine will be doubled if their passengers also have no helmet, Mr Yongyuth said.