Driving Under the Influence (DUI) commonly called “drunk driving”, is the offense of driving or operating a motor vehicle while one’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is more than the amount of the set legal limit, which makes you unable to operate your vehicle safely.
Thailand’s legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.05% or 0.5 grams per liter of blood for drivers who have had their licenses for over five years, and 0.02% or 0.2 grams for the following:
A person is considered to be drunk if the amount of alcohol measured is more than the legal BAC.
Breath testing stops are becoming more common to try to reduce drunk driving. Police Officers have the authority to test any driver at any time. They are using a Breathalyzer to detect the BAC at traffic stops. This device uses the amount of alcohol in exhaled breath to calculate the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood.
Violators will face a heavy fine and/or imprisonment, license suspension or permanent license revocation. You may also need to undergo community service.
A person charged with Driving Under the Influence may have their license confiscated for some period of time. Revocation of Driving License is possible especially in the event of causing death of another person.
The penalties for DUI is an imprisonment for a term not exceeding 1 year and/or a fine from 5,000 to 20,000 Baht. Moreover, suspension of driving license for at least 6 months or license revocation.
If the offence causes physical or mental injury to another person, the offender shall be liable to an imprisonment for a term of at least 1 to 5 years, and to a fine from 20,000 to 100,000 Baht, driving license suspension for a period of not less than 1 year or license revocation.
For causing serious injury to another person, the offender shall be liable to an imprisonment from 2 to 6 years, and to a fine from 40,000 to 120,000 Baht, and driving license suspension for a period of not less than 2 years or license revocation.
If the offence causes death to another person, the offender shall be liable to an imprisonment from 3 to 10 years, and to a fine from 60,000 to 200,000 Baht, and the Court shall order the revocation of his or her license.
Apart from the penalties mentioned above, they authorities may also require community service. If a driver is a Foreign National, they may also risk deportation, depending on the severity of the case.
It is advisable that you comply and not refuse the Breathalyzer test. If your test results indicate that you have exceeded the maximum blood alcohol limit, the Police will ask you for your driver’s license and you then have to make yourself ready to pay a fine. Violent behavior may result to greater penalties. Therefore, it would be best to cooperate and not to fight with the Police Officers. Depending on the severity of your charge, you may be given a court date and/or be asked to spend the night in jail. It is best to contact a DUI lawyer who can assist you with your case.