Drinking and driving is not a rite of passage, or a rite of manhood. It is simply not a right at all.

It is high time to put an end to the carnage that we see and read about on the roads everyday.

How many times have you taken a bus (especially those little green monsters) and seen a driver take a quick swig of whiskey, or jumped in a tuk-tuk and smelled the Singha come wafting back your way when the driver turns around and says "Bai Nai?"

Controversial Canadian director David Cronenberg recently made a film about the sexual excitement of traffic accidents called Crash. Is that it? Are we all so turned on by twisted metal and scalded flesh, that we just don't care anymore?

Drunks are everywhere in this city but sadly we are finding more and more of them operating motor vehicles at all hours of the day.

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Like so many other dilemmas in this society the rich cannot avoid this problem for their children and loved ones are dying too. Fatalism isn't a good enough resignation either.

In many countries there are major fines and prison sentences for those caught drinking and driving especially if they kill someone while doing it.   It is so easy to take taxi, go home with a sober friend, or take public transportation (as long as the driver is sober). Convenience just isn't an excuse when lives are at stake. Drinking and driving is stupid, selfish and totally unnecessary.

Throw away the keys, confiscate the drivers licenses, institute heavy fines and "make the perps pay 'em." If not - it is just going to get worse. The only God-send about Bangkok traffic is that it slows the idiots down.   In many Western countries people don't leave the scene of accident, no matter how bad it is, because the fine for doing so is quite severe. Whereas, here when do you not read of a major accident without the last line in the report being, ".... and the driver fled the scene."  It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

Start in schools, teach children that it is not good to drink and drive. Teach them also that if they are involved in a accident that they should remain at the scene of the collision.  Eventually they will tell their parents and maybe they will listen. You'd be surprised at the advice folks take from their kids.

Some claim that they are in Catch-22 situation if they remain at the scene of an accident. They say the police will demand large financial compensation immediately (something that many, especially lorry drivers, don't have) or they will put them in jail. The police are long overdue for raises anyway so give them more money. You won't eliminate all corruption, but you will cut it down. There are a lot of good cops who take money they shouldn't simply to pay the bills. Police in North America and Europe are usually much more honest in places where their salary is competitive. It goes without saying that good salaries cut down on the temptation to pilfer.

Also, what about starting the equivalent of a D,S & L Program here (Drive Sober and Live).  Instead of just pouring Black Label down someone's throat and sending them on their way - take the keys away instead!! No one has a right to drink and drive, NO ONE!!.

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