Mon, Jun 18, 2012 - Page 2 News List

MOJ proposes new rule on drunk driving

DOUBLE JEOPARDY:The ministry had already submitted an amendment last week seeking harsher penalties for drivers who caused fatalities, in a bid to curb the practice

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

To deter drunk driving, the Ministry of Justice has proposed that people who drive drunk repeatedly be detained for one to three days at police stations.

The ministry suggested an amendment to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法) proposing that police could apply to a court to detain repeat offenders for a period of between one to three days.

The current law stipulates that drivers be fined between NT$15,000 and NT$60,000 if their blood alcohol content is found to be between 0.25 and 0.54 parts per million (ppm). The law also requires drunk drivers to face criminal charges if their blood alcohol content registers higher than 0.54ppm.

According to a poll conducted and released by Chinese-language Apple Daily yesterday, 85 percent of respondents agree with the proposed detention for repeat drunk drivers.

This was the second amendment that the ministry has proposed in a week seeking stiffer punishments for drunk drivers in an effort to address a public outcry following a number of fatal accidents caused by drunk drivers.

The ministry’s first proposed amendments sought specifically to punish drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents more harshly. The ministry said that if the amendments were adopted, drunk drivers who hit and kill a person would face a prison term of between three and 10 years, with no possibility of commuting the sentence to probation or a fine.

For drunk drivers not involved in a deadly accident, the new penalty for driving under the influence would be between two months and two years and the sentences also could not be commuted, the ministry proposed.

Meanwhile, Taipei police yesterday announced their determination to clamp down on drunk driving, saying they would be dedicating more time to policing the roads and would be giving more random roadside sobriety tests, even during daytime.

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