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Pattaya Daily News

25 August 2010 :: 16:08:32 pm 36519

Anti-DUI Chauffeur Services Uncovered in Bangkok

Venue staff have begun to cash-in on increases in police DUI checkpoints throughout Bangkok, offering chauffeur services to intoxicated patrons for a reasonable fee before handing back the keys once the authorities have been avoided.
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Bangkok, the 22nd of August 2010: Reported in the Matichon newspaper (Thai), numerous nightlife establishments in the Thai capital have begun to capitalise on the current crackdown on intoxicated drivers by offering their own brand of unofficial chauffeur services.

Waiters, bar staff and parking attendants throughout the capital have begun offering to drive intoxicated patrons past notorious police checkpoints operating with breathalysers. The chauffeur will then hand back the keys to the over-the-limit owner, all for only a 300-500 baht fee.

Khun Bass, a parking attendant working at a restaurant in Kaset-Nawamin district revealed that he had been acting as a ‘DUI Chauffeur’ for approximately 3 months, with use of his services increasing every week. “The more the DUI checkpoints that are setup by police the more this business flourishes,” exclaimed Khun Boss, who alleges to have intimate knowledge of the location of all police checkpoints since starting his venture.

“Tourists and locals now know of the service we provide and have been increasingly using us as a means to avoid prevalent police checkpoints throughout the city. I now average between 2-5 customers per night, earning roughly 1,000-3,000 baht, depending on the amount and length of trips,” stated Khun Boss.

Working at a venue in Phrarama 5 district, Khun Boy, revealed that he was earning anywhere from 2,000-5,000 baht from his chauffeur services, with weekends being the most popular due to the increase in demand with Thai’s out on the town. Khun Boy went on to state that the majority of customers chose to drive themselves home after having passed the checkpoints.

“The police know what is going on, but have no reason or the resources to apprehend us or the drunk customer, I do take it in turns with other friends when passing the same checkpoint regularly so as to avoid any problems with the officers though,” revealed Khun Boy.

Khun Tem, a waiter at a popular Ratchadapsik Pub, is under no illusions that this new venture is honest, stating that he does it as a means to earn more money. Genuinely concerned for the patron’s wellbeing, Khun Tem explains he prefers to drive the customer home rather than relinquish the car back to them following the checkpoints.

“One time, I drove two extremely intoxicated customers past a checkpoint and was told to hand over the keys, those two men were later found dead after being involved in a car accident,” Khun Tem said in an attempt to justify why a door-to-door service is his preferred choice.

Breathalyser checkpoints are a relatively new adoption of the Thai police and largely used only in Bangkok or along popular stretches of highway where accident rates demand greater monitoring. Under Thai law, a driver can be imprisoned for 1-year and/or fined between 5,000-20,000 baht for having a blood alcohol concentration in excess of 0.05. Should the case progress to court, offenders are frequently handed down probation or community service orders for minor/first offences.

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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Rob Valence