Tue, Jan 15, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Drunk-driving penalties raised

LAWMAKERS AT WORK:In addition to the impaired-driving amendment, legislators passed amendments extending social welfare benefits and on military conscription

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

The legislature yesterday revised rules to more harshly penalize individuals who drive under the influence in a bid to curb alcohol-related car accidents.

Under the approved amendment to the Act Governing the Punishment of Violation of Road Traffic Regulations (道路交通管理處罰條例), fines were raised from NT$60,000 to NT$90,000 for drivers who exceed the blood-alcohol content limit or are under the influence of narcotics.

The amendments added a paragraph to the article to stipulate that drivers who commit violations two or more times within five years would also be fined an additional NT$90,000. The maximum penalty for those who refuse to stop for sobriety checks was raised to NT$90,000, from the current NT$60,000.

Meanwhile, the current penalties for refusing to take a breathalyzer test were retained under the amendment so that drivers face having their driver’s licenses suspended and their vehicles impounded.

The legislature also approved an amendment to Social Assistance Act (社會救助法) to expand social welfare benefits to more disadvantaged people.

The amendment stipulated that living allowances granted to vocational education students for joining school-industry industry partnerships were not a source of family income. The current rule has discouraged parents in low and low-to-medium income families from sending children to participate in the programs to avoid being disqualified from receiving benefits.

The amendment extended the coverage of the government’s housing allowances from low income families to low-to-medium income families.

The legislature also approved an amendment to the Enforcement Act of Conscription Act (兵役法施行法) to bring the act in line with the Act Of Military Service System (兵役法), which was revised in late 2011 to reduce the period of temporary mobilization from one year and 10 months to one year.

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