Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the ministry will propose amendments to the Cabinet for hasher penalties on drunk drivers who cause injury or death.
The penalties include up 20 years in jail and a fine of up to RM150,000. Currently, under Section 44 of the Road Transport Act 1987, the maximum sentence for the same offense is only 10 years. If the amendments are passed, first time offenders of the new drunk driving laws can be sentenced to 15 years in jail while repeat offenders will see up to 20 years.
As for the fines, it’ll be RM100,000 for the first time offender, up from RM20,000 and RM200,000 for repeat offenders. That’s not all, if found guilty, the offender’s driving license will be suspended for 20 years instead of just 10 currently. The new amendments also include those caught driving recklessly or under the influence of drugs.
Mandatory jail time is also being proposed under Section 45A of the Road Transport Act 1987, for those convicted of driving above permissible alcohol levels.
The permissible alcohol levels currently stand at 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood or 107 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine.
It has been proposed to be lowered to 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, 50 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood or 67 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine – a standard much lower than countries like England for example.
So the next time you head out for a couple of drinks, aside from a face mask, maybe bring along a breathalyzer as well?
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