70% of festival road deaths 'drunk'

About 70% of people killed road accidents during New Year and Songkran festivals in 2013 had been drinking alcohol, according to the Health Promotion Policy Research Centre.

Researcher Sophit Nasueb said 60% of those who died had an average blood alcohol level of 189 milligrammes percent, almost four times of the legal driving limit of 50 milligrammes percent (.05).

The centre's study showed no significant differences in blood alcohol levels of the deceased, whether they were drivers, passengers or pedestrians, or whether the accident involved a motorcycle, bicycle or car.   

Ms Sophit said it was worrisome that 56% of the those killd were younger than 20 years, and that they had such a high high blood alcohol level, averaging 139 milligramme percent, even though they were too young to legally  buy alcohol.

The research centre director, Thaksaphol Thamrangsee, said deaths and injuries from drink driving were  preventable, but the government’s efforts to prevent it had not brought any fruitful results.

He said the government should be more serious in its efforts, support law enforcement and punish vendors illegally selling alcohol to young people.

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