Ministry mulls stricter penalties to drunk driving

The Ministry of Transport (MoT) has asked the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam (DRVN) to revise the Government Decree No 46 issued in 2016 towards imposing stricter penalties on drivers whose alcohol content in blood or breath exceeding the permitted level.
A traffic police officer takes an alcohol test for a motorcyclist. (Photo: VNA)
A traffic police officer takes an alcohol test for a motorcyclist. (Photo: VNA)
Under the directive, which was signed by Transport Minister Nguyen Van The, the DRVN was requested to coordinate with the Department of Transport of provinces and cities to direct inspectors to strengthen inspection of drivers before leaving bus stations.
“Strict punishment should be imposed on people who violate traffic safety regulations, especially those are driving with alcohol content exceeding the permitted level,” said the MoT.
Le Van Thanh from the MoT's Traffic Safety Department said the department would consult the Ministry of Justice and submit a revised decree to the Government in June. “We are studying to increase the punishment relating to alcohol concentration to between 20-30 million VND and deprivation of driving licence for 24 months,” he said, adding that the highest penalties currently set at 16-18 million VND and revoking of driving licence for 4-6 months.
The ministry proposed that the National Traffic Safety Committee collaborate with agencies under its leadership to promptly set up a plan for dissemination, preventing and dealing with violations of regulations on alcohol concentration for drivers in 2019 and peak period of the Calendar New Year, Lunar New Year and Spring Festival of 2020.
It was necessary for the NTSC to mobilise units and enterprises to support traffic safety divisions at localities by providing video clips and leaflets calling on people to implement the slogan “Do not drink driving” with a view to building a civilised and safe traffic environment, it said.
According to Minister of Transport The, there have been a number of serious traffic accidents causing huge damage to people and property, causing concerns for the public over the past few months.
The original cause of a number of traffic accidents was that the alcohol in drivers' blood and breath exceeding the permitted level, he said.
To deal with the situation, the MoT has directed cadres, civil servants of transport units not to use wine, beer or other alcoholic substances while they were on duty; strictly abide by the provisions of law when driving on the road and violations would be handled with due punishment.
In addition, transport units should develop dissemination campaigns with various forms. Cadres and civil servants in the transport sector must take advantage of social networking such as Facebook, Zalo and Viber with powerful images to disseminate the harmful effects of alcohol when participating in traffic to their relatives and normal people.
Nguyen Quang Nhat, head of the traffic law dissemination division of the Ministry of Public Security’s Department of Traffic Police, said more than 91,000 cases of alcohol concentration violations were handled by functional forces last year.
In the first four months of this year, nearly 50,000 cases of alcohol concentration violations were dealt with.
However, according to Nhat, the sanction of the traffic police was not enough. "We need a stricter legal environment with clear binding so that road users don't dare to violate when they think of administrative sanctions and regulations on the management of driving licences,” he told An Ninh Thủ Đô (Capital Security) newspaper.

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