Criminal law may include drunk driving (3)

08:45, April 29, 2010      

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In response to the proposed change, both lawyer Wang Zhiguo and Zhou Guangquan, of Tsinghua University, said the two existing charges could cover drunk driving that resulted in deaths or injuries, making the new charge "unnecessary".

Zhou even warned that the new charge could ruin a drunk driver's livelihood, if no casualties were incurred by the incident.

"In China, people tend to view crimes more seriously than some other countries, where stealing things worth less than 100 yuan ($14.60) can be a crime that leads to a light punishment like a fine," he said.

"Legislators should be cautious about setting up a new crime."

In China, nearly 200 million people hold driver's licenses and the number of privately-owned vehicles soared to 187 million by the end of 2009, according to figures from the Ministry of Public Security.

Despite the rising number of drivers and vehicles, traffic accidents have actually declined, from 667,000 in 2003 to 238,000 in 2009. From 2003 to 2009, the death toll from traffic accidents also dropped from 104,000 to 68,000.

Nevertheless, illegal traffic practices of both drivers and pedestrians still pose a severe problem.

Deaths caused by drivers who proceed before pedestrians have safely crossed the road increased 5 percent in recent years, the ministry said.

Source: China Daily
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