Bentley driver faces more charges after narcotic found in his blood


The driver of a luxury car involved in an accident on a Bangkok expressway last Sunday will face additional charges after traces of a narcotic were found in his blood, the chief of the national police said on Saturday.

Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas said that police would summon businessman Suthat Siwapiromrat to hear the additional charges after traces of the unidentified narcotic were found in the blood sample taken after the accident at Police General Hospital.

A Bentley driven by Suthat, a major financier of a Thai political party, was blamed for the accident, which involved three vehicles and injured eight people.

After the accident, the businessman reportedly left his car before walking down the expressway and hailing a taxi in an apparent attempt to flee the scene.

Police officers dealing with the case managed to have him undergo a blood test several hours later, according to social media users who accused police of showing leniency to the rich and influential.

On Wednesday, police said the blood test found an alcohol level lower than the legal limit in Suthat’s blood. However, the test was conducted more than three hours after the crash, and blood alcohol levels can fall swiftly.

Damrongsak said on Saturday that the Metropolitan Police Bureau had set up a fact-finding committee to determine why officers did not conduct an alcohol test on the driver immediately after the crash.

If any officers are found to be negligent, they will face disciplinary action, he said.

The fact-finding panel will also determine if criminal action should be taken against those involved. According to the police chief, the immediate supervisor of officers at the scene would also be held responsible if they were found to be negligent.

Damrongsak also said that while serving as a deputy national police chief, he had issued an order for breathalyser tests to be conducted immediately after road accidents in which drivers were suspected of drunk driving.

Any driver who refuses to undergo a breathalyser test must be considered drunk, he said.