The Ministry of Public Health has said it will advocate for motorists who do not take breathalyzer tests to instead take alcohol blood tests, as part of efforts to curb drunk driving.
Deputy Public Health Minister Dr Sathit Pitutecha said that under the new rule, traffic violators who do not submit to breathalyzer tests will be required to submit to blood tests conducted by officers manning checkpoints. He also warned that those who refuse to get tested will automatically be considered intoxicated.
Dr Sathit noted that a budget has been approved by the government to support the road safety campaign during the so-called “seven dangerous days” of the upcoming Songkran festival.
According to Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), motorists must also pay approximately 1,000 baht for each test administered and other additional fines if found to be intoxicated. Under the new rule, blood tests for motorists who are unable to take breathalyzer tests would cost between 20 and 30 million baht per year.
The Department of Medical Sciences meanwhile reported that it analyzed 784 blood samples over the New Year period, with 55% of them containing alcohol concentrations above the legal limit.