Amendments to the Criminal Code on drunk driving offenses passed initial review at a meeting of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee yesterday, with a proposal that would increase maximum prison terms for first-time offenders to three years.
Most of the lawmakers in the review said they agreed that tougher sentencing for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is required to deter such behavior.
The discussion focused on amending Article 185-3 of the Criminal Code, with the Ministry of Justice providing recommendations in a report.
Photo: Tien Yu-hua, Taipei Times
The article sets out the punishments for people convicted of driving a motor vehicle if their “exhalation contains alcohol of 0.25 milligrams per liter or more, or the person’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.05 percent or more,” or there are other circumstances that show they have “consumed alcohol or other similar substances which prevent the person from driving safely,” or “the person uses drugs, narcotics or other similar substances that prevent the person from driving safely.”
The article stipulates stricter punishments if the offense results in death or serious physical injury, and has a five-year clause defining what constitutes a repeat offender.
The ministry recommended that first-time DUI offenders receive a maximum three-year sentence, up from two years, in addition to a fine of up to NT$300,000 (US$10,830), up from NT$200,000.
For a first-time offender involved in a fatal crash, the ministry recommended increasing the maximum fine to NT$2 million on top of the article’s prison sentence of three to 10 years, and NT$1 million in addition to the one to seven-year sentence if the offense results in serious physical injury.
The ministry also said that the time defining a repeat DUI offender should be extended to 10 years, with the cap on fines in such cases increasing to NT$3 million for a fatal crash and NT$2 million for causing serious injury.
The article does not stipulate additional fines for repeat DUI offenses, which carry a five-year to life sentence for a fatal crash, and three to 10 years for causing serious injury.
Lawmakers approved the ministry’s proposed amendments.
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
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
INFLUENCERS: The Chinese Communist Party uses social media to paint itself in a positive light, while promoting historical ties between Taiwan and China Government agencies are considering measures to counter China’s use of Taiwanese Internet celebrities to conduct “cognitive warfare” campaigns in Taiwan, a source said yesterday. China has trained local Internet celebrities to help it spread propaganda as part of its “united front” efforts against Taiwan, the source said, adding that Beijing was also using TikTok, a Pinterest-like app called Xiaohongshu (also known as Little Red Book) and other social media to influence young Taiwanese. Citing the Mainland Affairs Council, the source said that officials had warned people cooperating with China that they could face fines or other punishments. Stipulations under the Act Governing Relations