Sharp rise in drunk-driving cases during New Year break
Nearly 12,000 of the 12,360 accidents during the New Year holiday period involved drunk driving, Vittawan Sunthornkajit, director-general of the Department of Probation, said.
The 11,997 wrongdoers have to enter probation. During the period from December 27, 2019, to January 2, 2020, there were 345 cases of driving under the influence of drugs, 17 cases of reckless driving and one case of illegal racing.
Compared to the previous year, there was a sharp increase in drunk driving -- up 3,291 cases, or 37.80 per cent, with 362 repeated offenders.
"The Department of Probation will require all offenders to do an evaluation screening of their drinking behaviour to bring those who are at high risk to be treated as chronic alcoholics; 117 patients were admitted to the hospital in the first month, with the first 47 receiving treatment, while 1,424 people in the moderate-risk group, or 50 per cent, were sent to the camp to adjust their behaviour for three days. They were encouraged not to drink alcohol during the behaviour change camp, with counselling by psychologists. After leaving the camp, they still have to take part in social service to take care of those injured in accidents. They were taken to the morgue to see the condition of those who had died from the accidents, and also had to visit families affected by a drunk driving accident,” the director said.
Vittawan added that after the probation measure, those arrested for drunk driving had agreed to comply with conditions.
The situation will be reviewed in preparation for the coming Songkran festival. During Songkran, the department will send staff and volunteers to every community checkpoint to prevent gaps in detecting drivers who were at the wheel under the influence of alcohol.