The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is considering a proposal to prosecute fatal drunk driving offenses as intentional homicide, in a bid to reduce the number of fatal accidents caused by drunk drivers.
Under the proposal, drunk driving suspects with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.75 milligrams per liter (mg/L) would be charged with murder, regardless of whether they had been involved in road accidents.
Other measures under consideration include immediate work termination for public officials and civil servants caught driving over the legal limit, increased penalties and fines, and raising the maximum punishment to life in prison or a death sentence for those involved in accidents causing death.
Photo: Tang Shih-ming, Taipei Times
The proposed amendments would also include charges of offenses against public safety for drivers who tested below the 0.75mg/L BAC threshold, but still above the legal limit.
The 0.75mg/L delineation was based on research and published papers by Tsai Chih-chung (蔡中志), a professor at the Department of Traffic Science at the Central Police University in Taoyuan.
According to Tsai’s studies, drivers with 0.75mg/L of blood alcohol were 25 times more likely to cause an accident when behind the wheel.
“I wholly support the effort by the Ministry of Justice to set harsher punishments at 0.75 mg/L. When people reach this level, they would be severely drunk, which would significantly lower their reaction time,” Tsai told reporters yesterday.
“If they insist on driving, it would easily result in accidents,” he said.
He added that the 0.75 mg/L level would be an average person in Taiwan consuming five bottles of beer, and they should be held legally responsible for causing fatalities when involved in accidents.
Lawmakers are also pushing for stiffer punishments, such as raising the maximum fine for driving under the influence (DUI) from NT$200,000 to NT$300,000, handing out DUI convictions of a life or death sentence and increasing the prison term by two-thirds if caught for drunk driving again within a 10-year period.
Public outrage has placed pressure on the ministry and government to do something in the wake of more people being killed by drunk-driving incidents in recent weeks, including the deaths of two people earlier this month and three deaths in another DUI case on Jan. 23, both of which occurred in Taichung.
The majority of parents surveyed in northern Taiwan favor the suspension of all on-site classes at schools from the junior-high level and below amid a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections, parent groups said yesterday. About 84.4 percent of respondents in a survey of 2,912 parents in northern Taiwan, where the outbreak is the most serious, said they supported suspending classes, the Action Alliance on Basic Education, the Taiwan Parents Protect Women and Children Association, and the Taiwan Love Children Association said. The groups distributed questionnaires to parents in New Taipei City, Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu city and county from Saturday morning
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
ASEAN BATTLEGROUND: Japan and Australia could be drawn into Pacific tensions as China sets its sights on the Diaoyutai Islands and further beyond the first island chain Tensions between China and the US in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to intensify, the National Security Bureau and Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, recommending that Taiwan continue to emphasize its shared values and interests to encourage resistance to Chinese aggression. US commitments in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to continue unabated despite the war in Ukraine, as Beijing takes advantage of the conflict to expand its influence in the region, the agencies said in reports delivered to the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee on Sunday, ahead of a hearing yesterday on regional developments and trends. Although Russia’s invasion of
ONLINE REPORT: Confirmed cases filling out the online contact tracing report can check a box to indicate that a close contact had received a booster dose, an official said The guidelines for diagnosing COVID-19 have been revised to include people aged 65 or older who test positive with a rapid test that is confirmed by a healthcare worker, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 65,794 new local infections. The CECC had first announced the change on Monday, before publishing the new guidelines. Starting today, people aged 65 or older, regardless of whether they are undergoing home quarantine, home isolation or self-disease prevention, can be classified as a confirmed COVID-19 case by a healthcare professional, based on a positive result from an antigen rapid test, said