Sun, Nov 03, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Legislature reviews military code changes

By Huang Hsin-po  /  Staff reporter

The Legislative Yuan has completed a preliminary review of draft amendments to the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces (陸海空軍刑法) aimed at addressing repeat drunk driving as well as the spreading of disinformation by military personnel.

The draft amendments, which were sponsored by the Executive Yuan and lawmakers across party lines and are expected to pass a third reading on Tuesday, would increase penalties for military personnel who are caught driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol within five years of an earlier DUI conviction, bringing the punishment in line with that for civilians.

The draft amendments stipulate a prison term of five years to life for military personnel who are on parole or probation and are convicted of a second DUI, while those who severely injure others as a result of their drunk driving would face jail time of three to five years.

Personnel found driving military vehicles or those assigned to them by the government for work while under the influence of alcohol would face 1.5 times the original penalties, the draft amendments say.

The code currently stipulates that military personnel charged with a DUI face a maximum jail term of two years, while those who severely or fatally injure others as a result of driving drunk would receive prison terms of one to seven years or three to 10 years respectively.

It does not contain rules against repeat infractions.

The Cabinet has also sponsored amendments to the code aimed at clamping down on disinformation originating from the military, which are also expected to be passed into law on Tuesday.

Under existing rules, military personnel who spread rumors about the military that can be proved false face a maximum jail term of three years, detention or a fine of up to NT$300,000.

The draft amendments aim to hold those who relay such rumors accountable and would introduce the same penalties for them.

As the dissemination of misinformation is often conducted through the Internet, the Cabinet has also proposed an addendum to the code stipulating that people who spread military disinformation through radio and TV broadcasts, electronic communications or over the Internet would face 1.5 times the original penalties.

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