Cops criticised over 'delayed' alcohol test

Cops criticised over 'delayed' alcohol test

A TV screen capture shows the wreck of a Mitsubishi Pajero and a badly-damaged Bentley that were involved in a crash in Bangkok on Sunday.
A TV screen capture shows the wreck of a Mitsubishi Pajero and a badly-damaged Bentley that were involved in a crash in Bangkok on Sunday.

The police are facing a public backlash due to speculation they deliberately delayed conducting an alcohol test on a Bentley driver involved in a car accident who later tried to flee the scene.

The results, which were made public on Wednesday, showed him to be below the legal limit.The Police General Hospital report showed that Suthat Siwapiromrat had about 20 milligrammes of alcohol in his blood when the test was carried out after the collision on Sunday night.

Mr Suthat is accused of hitting a new Mitsubishi Pajero on the Chaloem Maha Nakhon expressway. The Bentley hit the Pajero in the middle lane, causing the car to overturn before it was struck by an oncoming vehicle in the right-side lane.

Five passengers were inside the Pajero, including a four-year-old child, plus the driver. All six were injured, but no-one died.Mr Suthat, who was driving the Bentley, left the vehicle, walked down the expressway and hailed a cab in an apparent bid to flee the scene, according to a report from a team of first responders.

Some of them followed him and demanded the taxi send him to a nearby police station. A bottle of wine was found inside the Bentley.According to one of the first responders, Mr Suthat appeared intoxicated. However, he refused to take a breathalyser test, claiming he had chest pains. He agreed to take a blood test instead.

The police claimed the blood test happened within an hour of the incident. However, a source said the test had not been carried out until at least four hours after the crash.

Netizens have speculated that the police may have been trying to help him clear his name as the driver is a wealthy businessman.

After Mr Suthat's results were released, also a day late, experts and people online immediately called them into question.

According to an expert from Srinakharinwirot University, an alcohol test should be carried out within four hours of the suspect drinking any alcohol.

Police said they have already charged Mr Suthat with reckless driving and drunk driving because he refused to be breathalysed.


  • backlash: a strong negative and often angry reaction to something that has happened - การสะท้อนกลับอย่างรุนแรง
  • breathalyser (noun): a device used by the police to measure the amount of alcohol in a driver’s breath - เครื่องวัดปริมาณอัลกอฮอล์จากลมหายใจ
  • call into question: to make something seem less certain or proper - ตั้งข้อสงสัย
  • claim (noun): saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา
  • collision: an accident in which a vehicle or person that is moving crashes into something - การชนประสานงา
  • criticised: receiving words of disapproval over something that you have supposedly done wrong - ถูกวิจารณ์, โดนว่า
  • first responder (noun): the first person or people to arrive at the scene of an accident or emergency situation -
  • flee: to leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger - หนี อพยพ
  • hail: to signal to a taxi or a bus, in order to get the driver to stop - เรียก
  • injured (adj): hurt in an accident, natural disaster, attack, etc. - ได้รับบาดเจ็บ
  • intoxicated: having had too much of an alcoholic drink, a drug, etc. - มึนเมา
  • limit: the largest or smallest amount, or the highest or lowest level, of something that is allowed - ขอบเขต, เขต
  • overturn: to turn upside down or on the side - พลิกคว่ำ, คว่ำลง
  • reckless: not thinking about the possible bad effects of your actions - สะเพร่า
  • source: a place where information comes from; someone who gives information - แหล่ง
  • speculate: to consider or discuss what might happen or might have happened - คาดการณ์ อนุมาน
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