A leading Bangkok businessman could be facing the death penalty after he was charged with murder in the DUI death of a top Crime Suppression Division policeman and his wife on Thursday night. And a top policeman has warned that the same fate awaits drink drivers nationwide who kill while drunk behind the wheel. Attempted murder charges will be made in non-fatal serious injury cases.
Pol Col Jatuporn Ngamsuwitchakun died at the scene at the wheel of his Suzuki Swift. His wife Nutchanat, 44, died in hospital. Their daughter Piyapha, 16, is seriously injured in hospital.
They were involved in a collision with an E 250 Mercedes Benz driven by 57 year old Somchai Werotphiphat who is the high profile owner of a major automotive parts factory00
He had been playing golf nearby and had consumed 4-5 bottles of beer before saying goodbye to his friends and driving home at around 11pm.
He said he was so drunk that he remembered nothing until he was surrounded by airbags in his own crashed Benz.
Top brass police in the shape of Police General Wirachai Songmetta were at the Saladaeng police station yesterday.
Gen Wirachai said that this was not just a case of drink driving and negligence causing death. It fell under Article 288 and thus the suspect is being charged with intent to kill - murder.
This could carry anything from 15 years to life imprisonment or even the death penalty, he said, adding: "What happens will be up to the court".
Somchai is being held in custody in Taling Chan in western Bangkok.
Gen Wirachai said that the Thai police nationwide are set to charge anyone with murder who causes death while driving drunk. If people are injured in DUI cases drivers will face attempted murder charges instead.
Source: Daily News