Drunk driving deaths drop following harsher penalties

08:42, July 07, 2011      

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Incidents of drunk driving, as well as deaths attributable to drunk driving, have both decreased by more than 30 percent over the past two months after an amended Criminal Law imposing harsher punishments for drunk drivers took effect on May 1.

Police across China reported 8,756 cases of drunk driving between May 1 and June 30, down 33.6 percent year-on-year, according to a statement issued by the traffic management authority of the Ministry of Public Security on Wednesday.

Police reported 105 deaths attributable to drunk driving during the same period, a year-on-year drop of 33.1 percent, 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.

In addition, an amended Road Traffic Safety Law, which also took effect on May 1, stipulates that convicted drunk drivers will have their driver's licenses revoked instead of suspended, as they were under the previous law.

According to the statement, police will continue to crack down on drunk driving crimes in accordance with the law and make improvements to the procedures they use to investigate such crimes.

Source: Xinhua
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