Man bites policeman to avoid breath test

13:43, May 05, 2011      

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A driver bit the hand of a police officer to avoid an alcohol test on Monday in Taiyuan, capital of North China's Shanxi province, local police said on Wednesday.

The man, surnamed Hao, is being charged with dangerous driving after police finally administered a breath test, which showed that his alcohol level was above the legal limit.

A later blood test revealed Hao's alcohol level was 129 milligrams of alcohol for 100 milliliters of blood, exceeding the legal threshold of 80 milligrams of alcohol for 100 milliliters of blood, local traffic police said.

On Monday afternoon, a police officer stopped Hao's off-road vehicle after he disobeyed traffic rules on Chaoyang Street and asked to see his driver's license. Hao handed over a photocopy of his license, which showed the license had expired. When the police officer requested Hao's original license, he got out of the car and snatched the copy back.

The police officer, smelling alcohol on him, asked Hao to take a breath test.

Instead of complying, Hao bit the officer's hand and grabbed the officer by the neck, according to police.

The fight lasted for about 20 minutes before other officers arrived.

Hao was the first person to be caught drunken driving in Taiyuan since a newly amended law took effect on Sunday, which imposes harsher punishments on drunk drivers.

The amended Road Traffic Safety Law states that anyone caught drunken driving will see their driver's license revoked upon conviction, and have to wait five years to apply for a new license and face detention for up to six months.

The nationwide crackdown on drunken driving has led to dozens of other drivers being caught.

Nine drivers have been caught drunken driving in Beijing since Sunday morning, three of whom were involved in car accidents, according to statistics from the city's traffic management bureau.

In Yunnan's provincial capital of Kunming, six cases of drunken driving have been investigated by police since May 1. Four of the cases have resulted in dangerous driving charges, while the other two are still under investigation, according to Kunming police.

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

The crackdown has already had an effect. According to a Tuesday statement by the traffic management authority of the Ministry of Public Security, the number of alcohol-related road accidents that occurred during this year's Labor Day holiday dropped 27.6 percent year-on-year.

A total of 1,458 accidents were reported between 12 am Saturday morning and 3 pm Monday afternoon.

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