Social Democratic Party member Hsu Han-yun (許菡芸) and the group Taiwan Against Drunk Driving yesterday urged Taipei City Councilor Tung Chung-yan (童仲彥) to drop his re-election bid after he was caught driving under the influence of alcohol in Keelung on Saturday.
Tung drove into three parked cars near Keelung’s Guanghua Tunnel (光華隧道) and a Breathalyzer test found his blood alcohol level to be 0.52 milligrams per liter (mg/L), far exceeding the legal limit of 0.05mg/L, police said.
After leaving the Keelung District Prosecutors’ Office, Tung said that the accident happened due to his unfamiliarity with the area, adding that he had only drunk two bottles of beer.
Hsu and Taiwan Against Drunk Driving secretary-general Vino Lin (林美娜) yesterday protested outside Tung’s office in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), calling on him to withdraw from the Nov. 24 city councilor election.
Drunk driving is a threat to public safety and should never be tolerated, regardless of blood alcohol levels, Lin said.
Tung should withdraw from the election to show that he is truly sorry and set an example as a responsible politician, she said.
Taiwan Against Drunk Driving would meet with Taipei City Council Speaker Wu Pi-chu (吳碧珠) to demand disciplinary measures against Tung, Lin said, adding that he should be barred from question-and-answer sessions at the city council.
Twenty-five politicians have been caught driving drunk over the past decade and most of them have avoided prison by paying a fine, said Hsu, who is to run against Tung for a seat at the city council, representing the city’s Wanhua and Zhongzheng (中正) districts.
Tung is unqualified to serve as city councilor, as he has not only driven under the influence of alcohol, but also has a record of alleged domestic violence, she said.
Last year, Lee Hsiu-huan (李秀環), who was married to Tung at the time, accused him of domestic violence and infidelity in an interview with Chinese-language Next Magazine, which published photographs of her injuries.
When asked to comment on the protest outside his office, Tung said that he regrets driving drunk and is reflecting on his actions.
Drivers who are caught with a blood alcohol level in excess of the legal limit for the first time may be fined NT$15,000 to NT$90,000 and are to have their driver’s license revoked for a year, according to the Road Traffic Security Rules (道路交通安全規則).
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