Thai police ordered to focus on house parties, illegal social gatherings in Covid-19 red zones, delay drunk driving checkpoints, regular traffic stops

Thailand-

The Royal Thai Police released detailed orders and requirements dated over the past weekend that came to light this afternoon stating that in the highest-controlled red zones police are being asked to focus on stopping illegal social gatherings and parties, especially involving alcohol or gambling vs. drunk driving or other checkpoints.

The set of orders was announced by Maj. Gen. Damrongsak Kittipraphat, Deputy Director-General of the Royal Thai Police. The original orders were dated April 17th, 2021, but were released to the media and public this afternoon. They also contain many policies and rules for police officers around protecting themselves from Covid-19. The orders are authorized as part of the Emergency Decree currently in place to prevent the potential spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus in Thailand.

The area of the orders that are likely to get the most attention is that in the eighteen highest-controlled provinces, or red zones, which includes Chonburi, home of Pattaya, and Bangkok, officers will be asked to focus on stopping private parties, social gatherings, mingling, and other activities that could spread Covid-19. They have been asked to “delay” drunk driving checkpoints and regular traffic stops, although critical border, crime prevention, and drug suppression checkpoints can continue. It’s worth noting that with the usage of the word delay this is not a total ban or discontinuation of the stops.

Police have been asked to look for signs of parties and social gatherings, such as loud music, flashing lights, large amounts of unusual traffic, social media postings, etc.  The public has also been asked to report illegal parties or large social gatherings to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 by calling their local non-emergency tip lines. Police are also looking for illegal venues open “secretly” against the current Covid-19 restriction orders.

Police will be looking for any sort of gathering events that involve usage of drugs, gambling, partying, alcohol, or similar events during the current “red” period. Entertainment venues have already been closed nationwide temporarily to help stop the spread of Covid-19 and sales of alcohol banned nationwide in restaurants to encourage people to social distance and not gather for parties.

Penalties for those violating these laws are strict, due to the emergency decree, and could lead up to several years in jail or fines in the tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of baht.

 

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