Be honest, how many of you drink and drive, I don’t mean just one or 2 drinks, I mean how many of you have drove drunk ?. You know it’s wrong, yet you still do it because it’s easy to get away with in Pattaya, and you don’t have any problem driving under the influence of alcohol, in fact, you might even think you drive better or more confidently after a few drinks.
No matter what you think, or what your capabilities are, driving under the influence of alcohol is a major contributor to Thailand’s extraordinarily high road traffic accident statistics.
The Thai authorities are making a serious effort at reducing the number of road traffic accidents in Thailand, “drunk driving” and “drinking and driving” have been pinpointed as the single largest causes of needless fatalities and injuries on Thailand’s highways, this is highlighted annually when the road traffic accident fatalities toll rises dramatically during the Thai Songkran festival.
Stiff penalties are being handed to drunk drivers, and you can expect less lenience from the police if you are caught driving drunk. You could be looking at a hefty fine of 60,000 baht, 6 months in prison, or both.
For your information, the legal limit for blood alcohol content while driving with a full (5 year) Thai driving license in Thailand is 0.05 (50 milligrams). The legal limit while driving on a 1 to 2 year Thai driving license or international driving permit is 0.02 (20 milligrams). This legal limit equates to grams of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. To stay on the right side of the law you should only be having 1 or 2 drinks before driving.
Thailand’s legal limit of 0.05 is pretty much in line with most developed countries, some are a little higher, others a little lower, the United Kingdom and the United States have limits of 0.08, some countries have absolute zero tolerance levels, so you should count yourself lucky in some respects.
Let’s face it, you need your wits about you in order to cope with some of the strange driving practices on Thailand’s highways. Doubtless you have already had to make allowances for tailgaters, oblivious motorcyclists and red light jumpers while driving around Pattaya, in most scenarios if you were involved in a road traffic accident in Pattaya you most likely won’t be at fault, but if you are driving drunk you are most definitely at fault, even if it was technically not your fault.
To coin an old phrase “think before you drink, before you drive”. There is no excuse for drunk driving in Pattaya, take a Baht Bus, a motorcycle taxi, or use one of the many local taxi services.
More Thailand’s alcohol and driving laws.
Passengers are not allowed to drink in any vehicle except trains.
Drinking is not allowed in stationary vehicles parked on roads and streets, the only exception is if the vehicle is parked outside your own house.
The police have authority to stop and breathalyze any driver at any time.