Repeat offender arrested after fatal drunk driving crash

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jan 04, 2018 - Page 3

A man with one drunk driving fatality convivtion was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly causing a fatal traffic accident in Keelung while intoxicated.

The suspect, surnamed Lee (李), 30, is thought to have deviated into coming traffic, slamming his car into a motorcycle ridden by a man surnamed Lin (林), 18, resulting in a head-on collision, Baifu (百福) Police Station chief Lin Wen-hsiu (林文修) said.

“The victim sustained severe injuries and was pronounced dead at a local hospital,” the police chief said. “The suspect’s car was also damaged and he tried to flee the scene, but was caught by officers with the help of witnesses.”

Lee had a blood alcohol level of 0.66 milligrams per liter (mg/L), well above the legal limit of 0.15 mg/L, police said.

Prosecutors intend to charge Lee for offenses against public safety and negligence leading to death, they said.

Three years ago, Lee was convicted of causing the death of a woman in New Taipei City while driving drunk, prosecutors said.

Despite being a repeat offender, a local court yesterday granted Lee release on NT$200,000 bail.

The victim’s family said they were outraged after finding out Lee served only a three-month prison term for his prior convictions, and that he had been granted bail.

“It is absurd... The suspect is a repeat drunk driving offender and has caused two deaths, but the judiciary still granted him release on only NT$200,000 bail,” the victim’s uncle said.

“It is very painful for our family. Lin was a good kid and he had a bright future and was planning a military career. The driver destroyed a happy family,” he added.

“The punishment is too lenient for drunk drivers who cause fatal accidents. The courts only give them light sentences. We urge the judiciary to hand out more severe penalties,” the uncle said.

His nephew had been in the military for three months, his uncle said, adding that the youth was home to visit family when the accident happened because he had a few days leave over the new year period.