Fri, Oct 05, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Cabinet approves proposal on drunk driving penalties

LEGAL DETERRENT:The proposed amendment is pending approval from the legislature and advocates tougher punishments in an effort to curb drunk driving

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

The Executive Yuan yesterday approved a proposal to write into a law a limit for blood alcohol concentration of drivers as well as enhancing penalties for those who drive under the influence in a bid to prevent alcohol-related car accidents.

Under the proposed amendment to the Criminal Code, it would be against the law to drive if a person has a breath alcohol level of 0.55 or more grams of alcohol per liter, which translates into a blood alcohol content of 0.11 percent.

The Cabinet’s proposed amendment removes detention from the options of penalties and stipulates that anyone arrested for drunk driving must serve at least two months in prison and may be receive a maximum sentence of two years. Offenders may additionally be fined NT$200,000 (US$6,825).

The amendment further stipulates increasing the penalty for drunk drivers who cause a death, from the current punishment of between one and seven years in prison, to between three and 10 years.

In cases where a drunk driver has caused serious injuries, it sought to enhance the current penalty of a prison term of between six months and five years to a sentence of between one and seven years.

Currently, convicted drunk drivers are usually given a short-term of detention of less than 60 days, which “ineffectively deters offenders,” Minister Without Portfolio Lo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) said.

The draft now would be forward to the legislature for approval before taking effect.

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