Drink drivers hit with community service

More than 4,600 motorists must serve community service as a penalty for drink-driving during the Songkran holiday.

The guilty motorists have been assigned to perform public services at several hospitals nationwide.

Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, director-general of the Department of Probation, said yesterday 4,830 traffic offences were reported nationwide during the Songkran period from April 11 to Wednesday.

Of the cases, 4,691 involved drink driving and 63 involved reckless driving, she said.

The number of Songkran drink-driving cases fell from 5,005 last year, a fall of 6.27%, Ms Ruenvadee said. She attributed the drop to stricter law enforcement.

She said drink driving was especially rampant in Bangkok on Rama IX, Ratchadaphisek and Lat Phrao roads.

Most of the traffic violation cases (416) happened in Bangkok, followed by 289 cases in Surin, 260 in Chon Buri, 225 in Maha Sarakham and 218 in Roi Et, Ms Ruenvadee said.

She said the violators given community service in Bangkok were assigned to assist staff for 24 hours at Chulalongkorn Hospital, Police General Hospital, Priest Hospital or the Thai Red Cross Society. They were assigned mainly to take care of trauma patients, especially those who were victims of drink driving.

Other types of public services were assigned including folding linen, delivering equipment and saline solutions, and arranging medical equipment.

She said less than 5% of violators re-offend after performing public service, with some violators even continuing to volunteer after completing their community service terms.

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