Tue, May 08, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Migrant workers face harsh penalty for DUI offenses

Staff writer, with CNA

The Tainan branch of the National Immigration Agency on Friday warned migrant workers not to operate any vehicle, including bicycles, while under the influence of alcohol, as they could easily be deported.

The more aggressive policy reflects a recent change in how the nation’s courts are handling violations of the law committed by migrant workers, the branch said in a statement.

A Vietnamese woman who worked at a factory in Tainan was caught in April riding an electric bicycle while intoxicated, which is illegal in Taiwan even if licenses are not required for bikes, it said.

She was sentenced to two months in jail, which was commuted to a fine, the statement said.


Although the woman thought that paying the fine would close the case, the court notified the Ministry of Labor of her conviction and the ministry canceled her work permit, it said.

Once her work permit was canceled, the agency had to suspend her residence permit and she was forced to leave the nation within a month of the court’s ruling, the statement said.

It has become common practice for courts to notify the ministry of migrant workers’ offenses, which ultimately results in them being forced to leave the nation because they no longer have valid work permits, an agency source said.

Previously, courts did not alert ministries to the offenses, enabling migrant workers to continue to work in Taiwan after serving prison time or paying a fine, the source said.

A total of 56 migrant workers were last year deported for drunk driving or bike riding in Tainan, while 27 have been deported for the same offenses in the first four months of this year alone, the ministry’s Tainan office said.

There are no available data for Taiwan as a whole, as the Tainan office was the first to begin recording the cases, it said.

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