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Drunk driving in Taiwan causing injury now punishable by prison sentence, up to NT$3 million fine

Taiwan enacts tougher penalties on DUI offenders after spate of DUI accidents

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A sobriety checkpoint in Penghu.

A sobriety checkpoint in Penghu. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An amendment to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例) passed the third legislative reading on Monday (Jan. 24), which will impose stiffer penalties for drunk drivers.

DUI offenders whose acts lead to death or severe injuries of others will incur a cash punishment of somewhere between NT$1 million (US$36,099) and NT$3 million in addition to being subjected to criminal liability, regardless of first or repeat offenses, per CNA.

Repeat offenders, defined as those committing the crime for a second time within 10 years, will have their names and faces disclosed. They will also have their licenses revoked and receive heavier fines.

Drunk drivers who do not cause accidents will face imprisonment of up to three years, from the current two years, and/or a fine of up to NT$300,000. Meanwhile, the fine given to passengers in a drunk driver's vehicle has been increased from NT$600 (US$22)-NT$3,000 to NT$6,000-NT$15,000.

Impaired driving caused by alcohol or drugs will result in the suspension of the license plate for two years, and the vehicle confiscated if the act leads to death or serious injuries of others.

Other changes include mandatory alcohol locks on vehicles of DUI offenders who obtain a new driver’s license. These individuals are required to drive a vehicle with an alcohol lock or face a fine of NT$60,000 at a minimum and NT$120,000 at maximum.