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Pla Wan not breathalysed after crash as ‘police smelled no alcohol’


Phang Nga police say that wealthy hotelier Vorasit “Pla Wan” Issara and three friends were not tested for alcohol after he crashed his Bentley on Thursday because officers “did not smell alcohol on their breath”.

Officers arrived at the scene of the crash on Phetkasem Road in Thung Maphrao subdistrict and interviewed Vorasit and his three passengers for about 10 minutes, but detected no sign of alcohol use, according to Thai Muang station chief Pol Col Boriboon Yusuksomboon.

Vorasit, the owner of Phuket’s ultra-luxury Sri Panwa resort, lost control of the vehicle and hit a guard rail, causing the car to flip several times before coming to rest in the middle of the road. The four occupants exited the vehicle just before it went up in flames.

Pla Wan not breathalysed after crash as ‘police smelled no alcohol’

Lawyers questioned why police had failed to conduct alcohol tests on Vorasit and his friends, as required by the law. The law stipulates that driving under the influence of alcohol is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a Bt20,000 fine, plus licence suspension for at least six months.

“If the driver is ordered by police to take a test but refuses, they will be fined Bt1,000 and the officer must presume that they have been drinking,” said a lawyer on Facebook.

“Tests that show an alcohol-blood level over 50 milligrams per decilitre are considered DUI, in which case the insurance company will not provide coverage for the accident.”

Pla Wan not breathalysed after crash as ‘police smelled no alcohol’

Responding to the legal controversy, station chief Boriboon said: “After interviewing the driver and passengers for about 10 minutes, officers smelled no alcohol on their breath and thus did not order an alcohol test. Officers however charged the driver with reckless driving and causing damage to property, namely the guard rail, and fined them Bt1,000.”

He added: “In this case an alcohol test was not necessary as there were no injuries or deaths and another party was not involved [in the accident].”

Published : March 28, 2022

By : THE NATION