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Why Drunk Drivers In Thailand May Soon Find Themselves Working In the Morgue

Why Drunk Drivers In Thailand May Soon Find Themselves Working In the Morgue

In an effort to combat road fatalities, authorities in Thailand are considering enforcing a somewhat unusual punishment on drunk drivers. Convicted offenders may have to include hours spent at their local morgue as part of their community service in order to send a strong message about the consequences of driving while intoxicated.

Mashable reports about the new recommendations Thai officials are making to the government, asking that they begin requiring drunk drivers to help out hospital staff at morgues.Offenders are currently ordered to do community service like cleaning streets, but officials believe that seeing the consequences of drunk driving in a hospital morgue will send a stronger message. As it is now, the World Health Organization reports that Thailand has one of the highest rates of road fatalities in the world and 26% of these fatalities are due to drunk driving.

Though the punishment may sound unusual to some, the Los Angeles Times first reported back in 1987 about a similar type of punishment being handed down to drunk drivers in California. Instead of requiring offenders to work at the morgue they were made to visit. A court in West Orange County began ordering young offenders to spend time at both a hospital trauma center and the morgue. First time offenders were even taken the intensive care unit to see patients in comas and meet family members.

Judge Floyd H. Schenk, who first began handing out these sentences in California in 1987 rather than jail time to first-time offenders ages 18 - 21, explained how he hoped this type of punishment would be more effective. Judge Schenk said, “I'm hoping young people who have received this sentence will have serious thoughts about ever driving under the influence again. Very few people actually see the terrible, really horrible situations of people who are injured by those who are driving while under the influence. . . . They are going to have the opportunity to see the results of a person driving under the influence.”

What do you think of Thailand’s move to reduce drunk drivers by making them help out hospital staff at the morgue?

Do you think this type of sentencing can be effective in other places as well?

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