Price to pay for drinking three beers in Taiwan: NT$67,500

Man regrets losing hard-earned money in drinking three beers and being flagged down by police

(Photo courtesy of Yulin County Police Bureau)

(Photo courtesy of Yulin County Police Bureau)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—A Taiwanese man had never thought of the big price he would have to pay for drinking beer, until he was stopped by police after drinking three beers, according to a news release posted by Taisi Precinct on Yulin County Police Bureau’s website in October.

The 42-year-old man surnamed Yang had a drinking habit, and he would drink a beer to wake him up before going to work and drink a few more during dinner after work to relax, Taisi Precinct said.

Around 11 p.m. on Oct. 8, Yang was riding a scooter on a short trip to buy beer when he was flagged down by police because he wasn't wearing a helmet, the precinct said. As Lunfeng Police Station chief Lin Chien-lung (林建隆) and officer Lin Kuan-yu (林冠余) approached him, they could smell alcohol emitting from Yang’s body. The policemen then asked him, “You smell of strong alcohol. How many bottles and what alcohol did you drink?” To which, Yang replied, “Only three beers.”

The police asked him to provide a breath test, the result of which was 0.98mg/l.

The police told him he had committed an offense against public safety and that his breathalyzer measurement was over 0.55 mg/l, which warranted a fine of more than NT$60,000 (about US$2,000). Knowing that he would receive a ticket of more than NT$60,000, Yang regretted losing hard-earned money to drinking three beers.

Taisi Precinct Chief Su Bao-an (蘇保安) said, DUI penalties for drivers of different vehicles vary and that the bigger the vehicle is the heftier the fine is. In cases when a breath test exceeds 0.55 mg/l for the first offense , the fines for scooter riders, sedan drivers, and large vehicle drivers are NT$67,500, NT$74,000, and NT$78,500, respectively.