Beijing detains driver suspected of drunk driving

09:39, May 02, 2011      

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Traffic police of Beijing on Sunday detained a black Benz jeep driver from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region who had allegedly been driving under influence.

Jeep driver Li Junjie, 25, will become the first person in this Chinese national capital of Beijing to face criminal charges for drunk driving in accordance with the newly amended Criminal Law which came into effect as of Sunday.

A squad of Dongcheng District Detachment with the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau said that they stopped Li at Chaoyangmen Overpass at 12:44 a.m. on Sunday and Li's breath test later on showed that he had 159.6 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood -- almost doubling the threshold for drunk driving.

Li, who was said to have travelled all the way from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to visit his younger brother in Beijing, confessed he had drunk beer late on Saturday night.

The criminal charge Li will face is termed as "dangerous driving". h Previously, those drivers who were suspected of drunk driving or street racing, if there were no serious consequences, such as causing deaths or injuries, would not be charged with criminal offences but were only subject to administrative or civil penalties instead.

In recent years, fatal car accidents in Chinese cities such as Chengdu, Nanjing and Hangzhou have triggered heated public outcry, calling for stricter penalties for drunk driving.

One notable change of the amended Criminal Law has been harsher punishment being meted out for drunk driving in a bid to curb drink driving across China.

The amended Criminal Law stipulates that all drunk driving would constitute a criminal offence, even if no road accidents or other serious consequences were caused.

The newly amended Road Traffic Safety Law now states that drunk drivers will have their driver's licenses revoked upon conviction. Drivers found guilty of drunk driving charges will have to wait five years to apply for new licenses.

The amendment also says that drunk drivers may have their licenses permanently revoked if they cause a serious accident.

According to the current law, drivers who have at least 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood in their body are considered drunk.

China's earlier law just imposed a license suspension of three to six months for drunk drivers.

Source: Xinhua
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