Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) employees who are caught driving under the influence are to receive two major demerits and are to be fired if their behavior causes death or injury, MOTC Minister Hochen Tan (賀陳旦) said yesterday.
Hochen made the announcement at a news conference that he cohosted with Taiwan Beverage and Alcohol Forum, a non-profit organization.
The ministry and 55 companies pledged to jointly refrain from driving while intoxicated.
The policy, which is to apply to all employees working in agencies governed by the ministry, took effect yesterday.
Employees would be given a minimum of two warnings if their blood alcohol readings were between 0.01 milligramS per liter (mg/L) and 0.15 mg/L when they were caught drunk driving.
For people caught drinking at work, they would receive one demerit, the ministry said.
Employees would be given two demerits if their blood alcohol level is between 0.15mg/L and 0.25mg/L.
Those whose blood alcohol level is between 0.25mg/L and 0.4mg/L are to receive one major demerit, which would also be given to those refusing a Breathalyzer test.
Employees found driving under the influence who cause injury or death in an accident would be given two major demerits and fired by the ministry.
All 55 companies voluntarily joined the event in an effort to preserve the ministry’s image and demonstrate its discipline, Hochen said.
The Legislative Yuan is reviewing amendments to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例), which would impose higher fines for drunk driving and hand down harsher punishments to frequent drunk drivers and those refusing a Breathalyzer test, he added.
The amendment also proposes fining passengers riding with drunk drivers, Hochen said.
“However, there is a limit to what the law can accomplish. We decided to follow the example of Japan’s Fukuoka Prefecture, in which corporations stipulate disciplinary action for those caught drunk driving,” he said.
The measure has helped corporations create a culture opposed to drunk driving, he said.
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