Separate Drunk Drivers Hit Palace, Police Station

A drunk driver who plowed his car into the wall of the Royal Pa­l­ace on Friday night was released Satur­day after palace officials contacted police about his case, police said.

The 31-year-old crashed his Toy­ota Camry into the east wall of the palace at about 11:30 pm, then tried to flee the scene, said Mao Sony, chief of traffic accident resolution for the Phnom Penh municipal traffic police.

“He was absolutely drunk. We kept him for one night because we didn’t know his identity. We suspected him of planning a plot against our King,” Mao Sony said Sunday.

He added that police released the suspect without charge after re­ceiving a letter from the palace saying that it wanted no compensation in the case. The letter did not mention the possibility of criminal charges, he said. “I got a letter from the Royal Pa­l­ace. It didn’t de­mand anything,” he said. “We re­leased him because he is a gentleman and he did it un­in­tentionally.”

Palace officials could not be contacted.

A police official guarding the pal­ace said on condition of anonymity that the driver had been drinking with a friend, whom he had been about to drop off near the palace when he crashed.

“The car just swerved and hit the palace,” he said, adding that damage done to the wall was repaired early on Saturday morning.

Also in the early hours of Sat­urday, a drunk driver crashed into the wall of Phnom Penh Muni­ci­pal Police Headquarters on Street 51, Mao Sony said.

The driver, a South African wo­man, started up her Toyota Corol­la just outside Sweet Heart bar and then crashed it into the front of the establishment, before reversing into the police building, he said.

He added that her driver’s li­cense has been seized and she has been suspended from driving for a month, though she has not been arrested.

Tin Praseur, municipal traffic po­lice chief, said the cars involved in the two crashes have been im­pound­ed.


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