Police checks nab at least 10 ‘drug drivers’

Police checkpoints set up at Pang Rolim village, in O’Tavao commune, Pailin district, have resulted in licences being confiscated and drug users sent for rehabilitation after their urine tests came back positive for addictive substances.

Pailin provincial police tested 68 motorists, passengers and motorcyclists at the checkpoints. Ten men tested positive for drugs.

Aged between 19 and 34, the men were identified as residents of Battambang, Pailin and Siem Reap provinces, one of which was employed as a cement truck driver.

In the case of the cement truck driver, the police have temporarily confiscated the 21-year-old Siem Reap native’s driving licence.

Pailin district police chief Yem Sarith confirmed that his driving licence had been temporarily confiscated and will be returned after six months.

“We hope he recovers and stops consuming addictive substances,” he said.

Sarith said on Sunday the police regularly carried out such operations and on Saturday, 31 policemen and eight village guards operated the checkpoint.

He said in principle, the police must seize the driving licences of any motorist and motorcyclist who tested positive for addictive substances. However, not all of the men who tested positive owned a licence.

Kith Thira, Pailin provincial police deputy chief, said 10 men whose urine was found to contain addictive substances were handed over to their families once they had signed an agreement to stop consuming drugs.

The checkpoints had been implemented under the safe village-commune policy, with police also carrying out inspections on explosives, arms, and general road traffic law.

“Roadside checkpoints in Pailin have been underway once or twice a week to ensure the safety of the citizens in Pailin province.

“Those who tested positive were encouraged by their parents to attend the drug rehabilitation centre as they are victims of drugs,” Thira said.

He expressed hope that the operation would highlight the dangers of driving while consuming addictive substances. He said driving after consuming drugs puts people at risk.