Poll finds most want harsher penalties
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Poll finds most want harsher penalties

An overwhelming number of people agree with harsher punishments for drunk drivers who repeat the offence, a survey carried out by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University found.

The Suan Dusit Poll survey, which was conducted on 2,152 participants last month, found that 93.96% of all respondents said there is a need to apply tougher penalties against repeat offenders, said the manager for the Academic Centre for Road Safety, Tanapong Jinwong, on Monday.

Dr Tanapong was speaking at a seminar titled "Drunk-driving Accidents and Repeated Offences", which was co-hosted by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth).

The poll also found that 87.45% of the respondents believe repeat offenders should be jailed without the possibility of probation.

Out of the 2,152 respondents surveyed, 56.73% said they had seen drunk-driving accidents.

"That's why they asked state agencies to work with the private sector to come up with urgent measures to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving," Dr Tanapong said.

Rungarun Limlahaphan, director of Social Risk Factor Control of ThaiHealth, said her organisation has been campaigning to prevent drunk-driving accidents since 2003.

According to figures obtained from the Justice Ministry's Department of Probation, 17,584 drunk drivers were placed on court-ordered probation in April 2019, but the numbers dropped to 550 in April last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic brought about strict curbs which included a night-time curfew, a ban of alcohol distribution and consumption, and closure of entertainment venues.

Ms Rungarun said roadside breath testing is also key to reducing road accidents.

At the event, Songkran Pakchokdee, director of the Stopdrink Network Office, took note of campaigns promoting responsible drinking. Citing foreign research, he said such campaigns won't help mitigate excessive drinking, as they are mostly marketing ploys designed by alcoholic beverage producers to hike sales volume.

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