Drunk driving incidents in China drop sharply after harsher penalty takes effect

08:53, May 18, 2011      

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Drunk driving incidents in China have fallen sharply over the past two weeks, as an amended Criminal Law which imposes harsher punishments on drunk drivers took effect on May 1.

From May 1 to 15, police around China reported 2,038 cases of drunk driving, a 35 percent drop year on year, and the daily average incident number was 43 percent fewer than the daily number last year, said a statement issued by the traffic management authority of the Ministry of Public Security Tuesday.

Moreover, the death toll and injuries caused by drunk driving dropped by 37.8 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively, the statement said.

The amended Criminal Law stipulates that all drunk driving incidents are considered criminal offenses, whereas the previous law imposed criminal penalties on drunk drivers only when they caused serious traffic accidents.

Further, an amended Road Traffic Safety Law, which also took effect on May 1, stipulates that convicted drunk drivers will have their driving licenses revoked, instead of suspended, as in the previous law.

The police had finished the investigation of 646 drunk driving cases and sent these cases to the procuratorates for further prosecution, the statement said.

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