Probation officials strap ankle monitoring devices to nine people found guilty of DUI in Bangkok on Friday.

BANGKOK — A group of drunk drivers were given ankle monitors and placed under home curfew Friday as the authorities introduce new tools to crack down on the leading cause of holiday road deaths.

To make sure the nine do not leave home between 10pm and 4am without permission, the court ordered them strapped to GPS-enabled ankle bracelets, the first time they’ve been used in DUI cases, Probation Department chief Prasarn Mahaleetrakul told reporters.

The test group’s identities were not released to the public, but Prasarn said they were convicted by a court in Bangkok.

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Officials said 5,000 of the devices were introduced last month in 23 court jurisdictions. Court officials said the devices, weighing about 230 grams, allow some convicts to be released early on parole while their whereabouts continue to be surveilled by police.


Over 2,100 people have been arrested for DUI from Wednesday to Friday nationwide, Prasarn said.

Apart from fines or jail terms handed down by judges, those convicted of DUI will also have to help police officers man checkpoints to catch other drunk drivers in order to instill their sense of responsibility, the department chief said.

Drunk driving was cited by officials as the leading cause of fatalities on the road during 2017’s Songkran festival, followed by speeding.