Drink-drivers with blood-alcohol concentrations of 50 mg/dL and over will have to pay for any damages they cause as they will no longer be covered by insurance firms, the Office of the Insurance Commission has warned.
OIC secretary-general Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn said the conditions in insurance policies signed from Thursday onwards will change to come in line with the Road Traffic Act with the alcohol limit coming down to 50 mg/dL, from 150 mg/dL allowed by insurance companies previously.
"Drink-drivers should avoid driving. The insurance will not cover either life or property in the event an accident occurs and it is found the insured driver has a blood-alcohol concentration of over 50 mg/dL.
"The third party damaged by the person will still be covered but the insurance company will collect the money from the drink-driver," he said.
However, the insurance void is only for additional policy, not compulsory insurance according to the Road Accident Victims Protection Act 1992, he said.
Mr Suthiphon also said 10 insurance companies have launched a new promotion that will give 10% discounts on insurance premiums for drivers who promise they will drive only when they are alcohol-free.
In a separate development, on Wednesday, new clauses on the permitted blood-alcohol concentration for drivers were published in the Royal Gazette, reducing the limit to only 20 mg/dL for some groups of drivers.
Drivers aged 20 and below, and those with only a temporary driving licence or without a valid licence will be regarded as drink-drivers if their blood-alcohol level is measured above 20 mg/dL.