Wed, Jul 03, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Hundreds of drunk drivers caught in crackdown

TOUGHER PENALTIES:The nation’s first case in which two passengers were fined for riding with a drunk driver happened in Hsinchu City, the National Police Agency said

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Kaohsiung Motor Vehicles Office displays a warning sign on June 28 to remind people of a series of new penalties for drunk driving, which came into effect Monday.

Photo: Chen Wen-chan, Taipei Times

Police on Monday caught 357 people nationwide on drunk driving charges as tougher penalties on driving under the influence (DUI) came into effect, National Police Agency statistics showed yesterday.

Lawmakers passed amendments to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例) in March.

The agency on Monday launched a nationwide crackdown on DUI that is to run through today.

The agency said 198 of the drivers had a blood alcohol level of more than 0.25 milligrams per liter (mg/L), adding that 62 were car drivers and 136 were motorcyclists.

Police fined 25 people traveling with the drunk drivers, issuing tickets of NT$600 to NT$3,000, the agency said.

It said that police caught 32 car drivers and 69 motorcyclists with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.15mg/L.

The nation’s first case in which two passengers were fined for riding with a drunk driver happened in Hsinchu City when police stopped a car at a checkpoint at 12:42am on Monday, the agency said.

The driver had a blood alcohol level of more than 0.25mg/L, it said.

Seven drivers and 16 motorcyclists refused to undergo alcohol and restrictive drug tests, police said, adding that one of the drivers was found to be driving under the influence of addictive substances.

The amendments stipulate penalties for slow vehicle operators, including bicycles, electric bicycles and tricycles.

One slow vehicle operator had a blood alcohol level in excess of the legal limit and and five others refused to take a breath test, the agency said.

Slow vehicle operators would be fined NT$600 to NT$1,200 for drunk driving and NT$2,400 for refusing to undertake a breath alcohol test, it said.

Under the amendment, the fine for driving a vehicle with four or more wheels while intoxicated has been increased to between NT$30,000 and NT$120,000 from between NT$19,500 and NT$90,000 for first-time offenders.

The fine for riding a scooter or motorcycle while intoxicated is unchanged at NT$19,500 to NT$90,000 for first-time offenders.

Those who record two offenses in five years would be fined NT$90,000 to NT$120,000 for the second offense, with each subsequent offense being fined an additional NT$90,000, according to the amendments.

The minimum fine for refusing to take an alcohol test was doubled to NT$180,000.

Drunk drivers face a two-year license suspension, while scooter drivers face a one-year suspension.

Those carrying children under 12 years of age or who injure others face a suspension of two to four years.

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