Sat, Jan 26, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Police cite low awareness of residual alcohol levels

By Cheng Wei-chi and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A 25 percent increase in the number of incidents involving driving under the influence (DUI) in the early hours is likely attributable to miscalculation of how long alcohol remains in the body, the Taipei Police Department said.

There were 2,281 DUI incidents in 2015, 2,795 in 2016 and 2,845 in 2017, the department said in a report.

Sleeping after consuming alcohol does not fully metabolize the substance, especially when hard liquor or food containing a great amount of alcohol — such as ginger duck — was consumed, Road Safety Association director Hsieh Ming-hung (謝銘鴻) said.

Eighteen minutes after eating ginger duck, Hsieh took a Breathalyzer test that showed his blood-alcohol content to be 0.09 milligrams per liter (mg/L), while another showed the level to be 0.14mg/L the day after consuming kaoliang liquor.

More than 47 percent of Taiwanese lack certain alcohol-

metabolizing enzymes, so more time is required to metabolize alcohol than most Americans or Europeans, Ren He Clinic doctor Kuo Tung-en (郭東恩) said.

Kuo recommended 24 hours of rest before driving after consuming spirits with an alcohol content of more than 30 percent, or 12 hours after drinking red wine or beer.

A short video made by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Taiwan Beverage Alcohol Forum seeks to educate the public about residual blood-alcohol levels.

The video would be played on major online forums and traffic safety lessons, as well as in Taiwan Taxi fleet vehicles, forum chairman Wang Te-le (王德勒) said.

Psychiatrist Tuan Yung-chang (段永章) recommended exercise to relieve stress instead of drinking alcohol.

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