Crazy Experience in Phuket
Last edited 18/09/2018 - 14:58 by 1 other user
Hi everyone. Just want to share my experience in Phuket last night which I think was truly shocking to say the least. I hope to share this as a warning to others traveling to Thailand and also get everyone's view on what they would have done better.
My wife and I came to Phuket for a quick trip leaving our kids with in laws in Malaysia. So after Walking around Bangala road late at night and we each had one beer at the bar. We headed to our hotel up north on the hired motorbikes (why is taxi so expensive in Phuket?) After a few windy turns, we were stopped by the police. I was feeling comfortable at the start as I know I only had one beer and I assumed that the similar drinking limit applies in Thailand. However after they asked me to blow into the breathalyser, the red light came on indicating high. So they took us to a little station on the side of the road.
We were really shocked at this stage as I have never been caught drink driving/riding before anywhere. I asked for the breathalyser three more times and the same result came up. So the officer told me I need to go jail for the night and appear in court tomorrow and get fined 10000 Bhat which is around AU$450.00. The officer spoke poor English but also managed to show me what he is saying using Google translate. I kept on asking questions and at one stage he went to ask for his "big boss".
The "big boss" came in some what just repeated what the other officer said. At one point I asked them what's the alcohol blood percentage which makes it "high" on the breathalyser as I also noticed that there is low and zero readings. They couldn't tell me straight away but did the test himself which shows zero. I then asked him if I can pay fine now and not go to jail. He reluctantly said it's possible which I know at this stage they are scamming tourist. Heard this happen in Asia but never imagined it happen to myself.
A few other things worth mentioning:
- They took my licence and asked me to write my name on a form with no English and they didn't fill it out.
- They keep going in and out of the room and speak to each other quite a lot.
- I noticed they didn't stop all the vehicle for tests. Assuming targeting foreigners only.
- I told them I have flight tomorrow going back to Malaysia so I can not go to court. They asked to check itinerary which I couldn't show they as I didn't have internet.
- They are still overall "nice" the whole time which makes me feel calm and kept trying to talk to them.
- They asked my wife to go back to the hotel by herself and they didn't even bother testing her. She also had one drink so result which be the same. My wife obviously didn't want to leave in that situation.
After they said I can pay fine now. I insisted that I don't have 10,000 and showed them what's in my wallet. They didn't seem to press me on getting the money which is little weird and keep mentioning about jail and court. I use the breathalyser myself again it's now showing low after about 45 mins but they said it was high before and said I was sitting there for a long time. After a while they caught a British guy who wants to walk back to the hotel to check on his girlfriend but the officer didn't let him. I can't tell if he is drunk or not but he also said he had one beer.
Eventually the big boss told me to do one more breathalyser with another officer filming and said that if it's low then I can go. The result was low and they let us go and kept the British guy there. As shocked as I was for being "caught ", I was shocked that they let me go without paying anything.
I am wondering if anyone had similar experience before and how they went. We really enjoyed our kid free get away till this happened and it would really ruin anyone's holiday. What would you have done to get out of this kinda of situations specially in a foreign country? Be firm and insist on going to jail knowing they probably won't bother? Just pay the fine and take as lesson learnt? Not agreeing to anything they say and not corporate? Asking to speak to lawyer or the consulate?
Sorry for the long first post and I just hope it helps someone when they get caught in a similar situation. Phuket is such a beautiful holiday destination and I really hate to see people not coming here because this kind of things.