CHONBURI – Police in the resort town of Pattaya are cracking down on the use of high-powered plastic pipes to shoot water during Songkran, a festival for the Thai New Year.
Although Songkran officially lasts from 13 – 15 April, waterfights and other activities will continue until 19 April in Pattaya, drawing tens of thousands of tourists and revelers each year.
Pol.Col. Sukthat Pumpanmuang, superintendent of Muang Pattaya Police Station, said today that police will not tolerate the use of plastic PVC pipes as waterguns this year, because they are too forceful and could harm people. He said tourists who carry PVCs will be asked to exchange them with plastic bowls issued by the police.
"If we spot any tourists who bring PVCs other any other type of high-powered waterguns to the festival, we will give them warning about the danger that may happen," Pol.Col. Sukthat said.
The ruling military junta of Thailand has also instructed Thai people to celebrate Songkran in "traditional" and appropriate ways. Prohibited actions include dressing in skimpy clothing, consuming alcohol at festival sites, and applying wet powder paste on strangers' faces. As in previous years, the rules were largely ignored by Songkran revelers.
Pattaya police also told reporters that they have set up checkpoints around the resort town to prevent drunk-driving, especially on Soi Buakao and Sukhumvit Road. Although our correspondent reported that many teenagers were spotted drinking beer and driving motorcycles on the roads, Pol.Col. Methawit Praditpol, superintendent of Sattahip Police Station, said police have not encountered any drunk drivers so far.
"We have not found any motorists who consumed alcohol," Pol.Col. Methawit said, "This is a good thing. The state campaign about strict arrests for driving under alcohol influence meant that there is no drunk driving [during Songkran] this year."
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