The charge of cocaine abuse brought against Red Bull heir Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya during the high-profile hit-and-run case in 2012 has now lapsed as a result of the new narcotics law which alters the statute of limitations for some offences, Office of the Attorney General (OAG) spokesman Prayuth Petchkhun said yesterday.
Mr Prayuth said Mr Vorayuth had been charged in August 2020 with cocaine abuse in addition to reckless driving causing death by a panel of prosecutors chaired by Itthiporn Kaewthip, director-general of the Office of Criminal Prosecution. Mr Prayuth was the panel's secretary.
A court warrant was then issued for his arrest under Section 58 of the earlier Narcotics Act of 1979 which prohibited the use of cocaine. Offenders were then liable to a jail term of six months to three years and the statute of limitations was 10 years, which would have been Sept 3, 2022 for Mr Vorayuth.
But when the new narcotics law took effect in Dec 9 last year, the Narcotics Act of 1979 was cancelled. Under Section 162 of the new law, which also prohibits the use of cocaine, a violator is liable to a jail term of up to one year and the statute of limitations is five years.
The only remaining charge against him is reckless driving causing death, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in jail and has a 15-year statute of limitations.