Police in south-central Vietnam on Friday booked a driver for meth use after he tested positive with the opioid while he was behind the wheel of a long-haul sleeper bus carrying 40 passengers, as Vietnam elevates crackdown on substance abuse among drivers.
The 34-year-old driver was operating a 45-seat sleeper bus on National Highway 1 heading in the Ho Chi Minh City-to-Hanoi direction when he was pulled over by police officers in the south-central province of Binh Thuan for a random drug test.
A quick urine test showed the driver had been under the influence of meth, which he confessed to using on the job to stay awake on long trips.
|A driver holds his urine test after being stopped at a police checkpoint in Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo: Duc Trong / Tuoi Tre
Meth, short for methamphetamine, is a potent central nervous system stimulant that is mainly used as a recreational drug, which is illegal in Vietnam.
Officers booked the driver for drug use violation and had the vehicle towed away.
|A towed away sleeper bus is kept at a vehicle storage facility in Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam after its driver is booked for drug use violation. Photo: Khoa Nguyen / Tuoi Tre
At the time of the incident, the sleeper bus was carrying 40 passengers, who were moved to another bus to continue their trip.
On Thursday, another driver also tested positive with meth and heroin while driving a sleeper bus heading for Nghe An Province in north-central Vietnam.
Police checkpoints have sprung up on key roads in Vietnam to conduct random drug and breath tests as the nation elevates crackdown on substance abuse among drivers following a series of deadly accidents involving drugged drivers in recent months.
A month-long comprehensive inspection aimed at tackling driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and ensuring traffic safety is also being carried out in Ho Chi Minh City.
|An officer pulls a tractor trailer over at a police checkpoint in Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo: Duc Trong / Tuoi Tre
Drivers of long-haul passenger buses and cargo trucks in Vietnam are known to abuse drugs to stay awake on long shifts.
On Monday, a truck slammed into a group of cemetery goers in the northern province of Hai Duong, killing eight. The driver later tested positive for drugs after submitting himself to the police.
On January 2, a driver under the influence of heroin and alcohol plowed his tractor trailer into a crowd of motorcyclists waiting at a red light in Long An Province in southern Vietnam, killing four.
|A police checkpoint is set up on National Highway 1 passing Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Photo: Duc Trong / Tuoi Tre