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A government spokesman painted a lovely picture of Songran being happily enjoyed nationwide.
Then came the reality. Figures revealed nearly one hundred thousand drivers stopped for being drunk, tens of thousands of prosecutions and more than 2,000 vehicles seized.
Deputy NCPO spokesman Sirijan Ngathong said that everyone was helping out and cooperating as specially cordoned off areas throughout the kingdom were the scene of joyous, polite and appropriate celebrations. Though she warned people to be careful in the crowds and said it was very hot out there. Then following the optimism of a holiday being enjoyed by millions came the stark reality. Much of the nation was getting paralytic then getting behind the wheel of buses and cars and riding motorcycles. This came despite the dire warnings beforehand.
Sirijan was referring to the government’s DUI campaign when she announced that 32,772 bikes had been stopped and 973 confiscated on Saturday alone. Some 24,866 people nationwide face prosecution for riding motorcycles drunk. On public vehicles and in private cars there was no hiding that the situation was almost as bad. Some 25,446 vehicles were stopped with 1,972 licences taken in and 330 vehicles confiscated. There were 15,049 prosecutions. All this was just on Saturday 13th, reported Sanook. For the period 11th to 13th the DUI crackdown had resulted in a staggering 98,808 cases. Some 2,294 vehicles had been confiscated. People so far facing prosecution for drink driving are 44,024 on bikes and 27,283 in public vehicles and cars.