Sun, Apr 15, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT proposes hiking fine for dodging Breathalyzer

COSTLY REFUSAL:About 10,000 drivers per year leave police checkpoints when asked to take the test, Legislator Lin Li-chan said. The amendment would raise fines 10 times

By Cheng Hung-ta and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A draft amendment to Article 35 of the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例) introduced by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Li-chan (林麗蟬) on Friday would increase fines for drivers refusing to take a Breathalyzer test.

Under existing laws, while drivers can be fined up to NT$90,000 if they willfully drive past a drunk-driving checkpoint, drivers will only be fined between NT$3,000 and NT$6,000 if they refuse to comply with police requests to stop outside of a checkpoint.

The low fines are a major reason drivers choose to flout the law and simply drive away, Lin said, adding that statistics show that 10,000 such cases occur every year on average.

She said the amendment would increase fines 10 times to between NT$30,000 and NT$60,000 for drivers driving away despite police requests to stop.

If such actions directly lead to injury or death of police officers, firefighters, medical personnel or public servants, the driver could be fined NT$90,000 to NT$150,000, Lin said.

The draft would bolster protection of medical personnel, firefighters and mechanics, as existing laws primarily protect police officers on duty, she said.

The draft also states that noncompliance with requests or orders from police on traffic duty or other public servants tasked with directing traffic would be punished with six violation points, leading to the immediate suspension of the offender’s driver’s license for a month.

The increased fines would also extend to people who drive under the influence of drugs or without a license, Lin said, adding that driving sober is a sign of a civilized culture.

Amending only one article is not enough and the requests of many civil servants, including National Police Agency Director-General Chen Chia-chin (陳家欽), have been heard, Lin said, adding that she would be looking into other relevant articles that require amending.

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