Preah Sihanouk provincial police have been deploying officers to search vehicles for weapons and spot drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol in order to strengthen public safety and maintain order in certain parts of Sihanoukville.
Provincial police chief Chuon Narin told The Post on February 21 that the inspections were added measures to maintain public order in the province and especially in Sihanoukville and being carried out according to standard practices.
He added that these inspections were not being carried out everywhere or at all times, but were targeted to certain locations and times of day where authorities suspected illegal activity may be taking place.
“We are checking vehicles and drivers for offences related to alcohol, drug use and possession of weapons or explosives . . . We looked at the current situation and determined that we’ve got too many traffic accidents taking place due to impaired driving.
“And as long as we’re checking, we’ll also try to find anyone in possession of illegal weapons,” he said.
Narin added that officers frequently encountered drivers who were under the influence of alcohol and they were obligated at minimum to detain the driver until they were sober before allowing them to move on.
He said the patrols also occasionally checked for explosive ordnance or the presence of gunpowder in order to find people with illegal weapons.
Regarding drivers under the influence of illegal drugs, Narin said if the driver did not otherwise pose a risk to anyone and were not engaged in other criminal activity, then they were usually detained or prevented from driving further and then educated about how to get help at a drug treatment centre.
However, he noted that if the driver was found to be in possession of illegal drugs at the time of the traffic stop or they were suspected of drug trafficking, they would be investigated and referred to court.