Sat, Mar 30, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Rally calls for strict DUI laws, including flogging

LAW AS TUTOR:A mother said her daughter’s death could have been prevented had legislators fixed the laws, while others said tough rules would deter people

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Members of the Anti-Drunk Driving Party protest outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Peng Wan-hsin, Taipei Times

Zero tolerance, flogging for repeat offenders and an alcohol-tax fund were among the suggestions from members of the Anti-Drunk Driving Party to deal with those convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) at a rally at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Families of people killed by drunk drivers presented a petition to lawmakers that outlined demands for harsher penalties, saying that the law is too lenient and has no deterrent effect, while fatal incidents are on the rise.

“We want the government to use the most severe tactics to combat DUI to protect people on the roads. Let us not have any more tragedies befall families due to drunk drivers,” Anti-Drunk Driving Party convener Lee Tai-chung (李載忠) said. “If the government were to impose strict laws and punishment for DUI offenses, maybe it would put fear into habitual drunk drivers and keep them within the law.”

The party said it is seeking to have floggings administered to repeat offenders, mandatory three-day detention, murder indictments for drunk drivers who cause fatalities, a ban on holding public office for people with a DUI record and a fund to compensate those affected by drunk driving incidents, with payments to be made by the offender.

The rules should also permit the provisional seizure of an offender’s assets, as past cases have seen people transfer their assets to keep them from being seized, the party said.

Democratic Progressive Party legislators Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) met the group and accepted the petition.

Some at the rally spoke of those they had lost.

A woman surnamed Lin (林) said: “If our lawmakers had done their work to fix the laws, maybe the hundreds of innocent lives taken by drunk drivers could have been avoided. Maybe if lawmakers had done their job, my child would not have been taken from me.”

Lin said her daughter was a university student who was riding a scooter to meet friends when she was hit and killed by a drunk driver in Taoyuan in September 2017.

Chen Li (陳立), a math teacher, said that a student of his was killed when his scooter was hit by a drunk driver in New Taipei City in October last year.

“To this day, I still tremble in despair when thinking about it and still cannot accept what happened,” Li said.

“It was lenient laws that permitted the driver to use his car as a murder weapon,” he said.

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