A total of 165 deaths caused by drunk driving were reported between January and last month, 89 fewer than the same period of last year, National Police Agency statistics released yesterday show.
The agency attributed the drop to the new law on drunk driving.
A total of 78,662 drunk driving incidents were logged between January and last month, with 36,072 cases sent to prosecutors for criminal charges.
A total of 124,620 cases of drunk driving were reported last year, an increase of 11,190 compared with the previous year, with 376 people being killed in drunk driving accidents.
A tougher anti-drunk driving law took effect on June 13. Under the revised Criminal Code, motorists are subject to prosecution for endangering the public if they are caught with a breath-alcohol content of 0.25mg per liter or higher, or a blood-alcohol content of 0.05 percent or above.
Those caught driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics now face up to two years in jail and a maximum fine of NT$200,000.
Offenders could be sentenced to between three and 10 years in jail for causing fatalities. In cases where serious injuries are caused, offenders could face one to seven years in jail. The agency says the regulations are among the world’s toughest on drinking and driving.