Drunk Driving Around the World: Focus on Thailand’s Victim Impact Panel

Thailand has the second worst record in the world for traffic fatalities. During the annual Songkran holiday, hundreds of thousands of Thais take to the streets to return to their towns and villages to celebrate the seven-day holiday. While the majority of the vehicles on the road are motor bikes – many drivers and passengers do not wear helmets. Thai officials call the seven-day holiday “Seven Days of Danger.” More than two people die and 160 are injured every hour during the week long holiday.

Morgue Shock Treatment Plan

Ahead of the festival, the Thai government announced that anyone driving drunk during the holiday would be get their vehicle or motor bike impounded for the duration of the holiday. After thinking about it, the Thai government decided impounding vehicles was not enough and devised the morgue shock treatment plan.

Drivers convicted of drunk driving will now have to complete community service in hospital morgues. The convicted drunk drivers will be responsible for cleaning up and transporting the dead bodies so that they can see the actual physical and experience the psychological damage caused by drunk driving. The idea is to have the offenders feel pain rather than tidying up parks and libraries, the community service offerings before this policy went into effect.

Victim Impact Panels in Texas

Texas’ drunk driving statistics are no better than Thailand’s. About every 20 minutes, someone is hurt or killed in a car crash involving a drunk driver. The closest program in Texas to the Thai morgue shock treatment plan is a victim impact panel (VIP). Virtually all convicted drunk drivers are mandated to attend a VIP as a condition of sentence or to obtain reinstatement of their drivers’ license. Victims and survivors of deceased victims of drunk drivers’ address offenders and talk about what happened to them and how the drunk driver impacted his or her life. The idea is to create empathy and understanding of the negative consequences of DWI and change the offender’s thinking and behavior with respect to drunk driving. It is a judgment-free zone and the environment promotes healing and understanding.

In the case of Thailand on the other hand, the government authorities made the conscious decision to make the offenders feel bad about driving drunk. They want to scare the convicted drunk driver from ever driving drunk again. Hopefully, by dealing with the worst consequence of drunk driving directly, the drunk drivers will be forever discouraged from drunk driving.

Protecting Your Rights Under the Law

At The Wilder DWI Defense Firm, we understand what your rights are and how to protect them. If you are accused of DWI in the Dallas area contact us for your personal case evaluation. We will represent you aggressively and keep your rights top of mind at every stage of the DWI case. From your license revocation hearing, to plea negotiations, to trial if needed, our team will ensure that you get the best representation possible.

Categories: