The Ministry of Public Security has issued special regulations that are to be strictly enforced during the Lao New Year, or Pi Mai, period, and are to focus their efforts on drunk drivers.
Col. Kongsy Souvannatoum, Chief of the Traffic Police Department, Ministry of Public Security, said in a statement to the media that police will be out in force using breathalyzer tests to check blood alcohol levels.
He said that drivers of four-wheeled private vehicles must maintain a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.24 grams per liter, while drivers of any public passenger vehicles must have a BAC of zero.
Drivers of two-wheeled and three-wheeled motor vehicles (motorcycles or tuk-tuks) must maintain a BAC of no more than 0.14.
Those who test higher than the legal limit will be immediately stopped, fined, and their families will be contacted to return them and their vehicle home.
He urged the head of every family across the country to speak to their family members about traffic regulations, ensuring those riding motorbikes wear a helmet and those in cars or other vehicles wear a seatbelt at all times.
Traffic police will be coordinating with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport during the new year period to set up checkpoints across the country.
Motorists will be stopped for breath tests, while police will strictly enforce speed limits and inspect vehicle and driver documentation including driver’s license, vehicle registration and road tax, roadworthy certification, and insurance.
Authorities have given the green light to Lao New Year celebrations (Boun Pi Mai Lao) this year, saying people may participate in the celebration with their families, at their workplaces, and at temples in accordance with Lao traditions.
However, outdoor entertainment venues, market fairs, or music and dance performances at river banks, temples, or other public places have been prohibited.
The use of unclean water, dyed water, or use of vehicles to splash water has also been prohibited.