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Drunk Drivers Will Now Face Harsher Penalties

Drunk Drivers Will Now Face Harsher Penalties

Anne Dorall

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Amendments to Sections 41 to 45 of the Road Transport Act has been approved by the Cabinet to allow for harsher penalties against those found to be driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

What you need to know: Currently, the maximum jail time is 10 years and maximum fine is RM20,000. The amendment will see an increased penalty. First offences will see a jail time of 15 years and a maximum fine of RM100,000, while subsequent offences will see a jail time of 20 years and a fine of RM150,000. In addition to that, the duration of the suspension of their drivers’ license will be increased from 10 years to 20 years.

The benchmark for permissible alcohol content will also be lowered to match with World Health Organisation (WHO) standards. It will be lowered from 35 micrograms per 100ml of breath to 22 micrograms, from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50 mg, and from 107mg per 100ml of urine to 67mg.

Why it matters: Malaysia has a drunk driving problem, and many voices have called for stricter punishments to curb such accidents. With the new amendments in place, those who drink may think twice about driving, and instead make use other safer methods such as e-hailing.

Who said what: Transport minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said that the Attorney General’s Chambers have gone through the draft Bill that shall be presented for the Cabinet’s final approval on July 17 prior to its tabling a week later.

Read more:
Malaysia’s Drunk Driving Problem [TRP]
Transport Ministry Plans To Amend DUI Laws On Next Parliament Sitting [TRP]

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