There has been lots of talk about how much the fines are, or how bad the cells are, when you get yourself arrested for being over the legal limit of alcohol consumption when driving. The police are out in numbers these days, it certainly isn’t like the past, and so if you drink and drive there’s a good chance you’ll get pulled.
CityNews spoke to one man about his experience when he spent a night in the cells, and a day in court.
“I got stopped at about 2 a.m. at Thapae Gate during Songkran. They were only looking for seven people as they only had seven policemen spare to drive the arrested peoples’ vehicles back to the police station,” said the man, a foreign teacher working in Chiang Mai.
The man said he was arrested with three other foreigners, “out of the seven 3 British guys and one American I think.”
They were taken to Prasing police Station and there put into a holding cell with around 10 Thai and Burmese people. “The cell had one toilet and it wasn’t so clean,” he said, adding that they were could either “stay there until the court date, which was going to be until 24 hours later, or pay a 20,000 bail.”
He paid the bail.
“It was the same for the Thais unless their employer could guarantee them. I got out on bail at around 10 a.m. I had to appear at court at 9 a.m. a day or two later, but didn’t end up getting fined till about 3 p.m.”
He wasn’t sure what everyone paid, but he explained that the fines were not in excess of 9,000 baht and not below 6,000 baht. It depended on how much you blew over the limit.
“When we were fined there were about 40 people from all walks of life sat in front of a microphone and a TV. We were called out one by one to stand in front of the microphone and TV with the judge on it, the TV judge then read our charges. To their credit they did provide a translator. I paid my fine and got told not to get caught again for a year!”
If you really want a happy ending, well, he got his bail money back just one day later.