In an effort to reduce traffic accidents and general danger to the populace during Songkran, Thai authorities have decided to designate certain parts of Bangkok and other provinces as “alcohol-free zones” in which the sale and consumption of alcohol will be strictly prohibited.
Included in these dry spots (an ironic designation during Songkran) will be Bangkok’s Khao San, Rama Nine and Silom roads.
Parts of Pattaya and Phuket will be subjected to the dry spell as well.
Deputy national police chief Ruangsak Jaritek said on Monday that revelers will be allowed to enter these areas, but only if they park their vehicles outside of the safe zones’ boundaries. Anyone caught driving or riding in a car while under the influence of alcohol will be subject to six months’ imprisonment or a THB30,000 fine.
These strict measures have been undertaken in an effort to increase road safety during the “seven dangerous days” of the Songkran holiday.
Police will set up roughly 12,000 security checkpoints throughout Thailand in order to help curtail drunk driving and push this year’s count of road-related fatalities downwards.
The Bangkok Post reports that last year, police countermeasures reduced traffic accidents during Songkran by 5%, though an accident reduction target has not been set for this year.