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Gov't increases sanctions for drunk driving

VGP – The Government has issued Decree No. 100/2019/ND-CP on administrative sanctions for road traffic and rail transport violations, applicable since January 1, 2020.

12/31/2019 07:13

Under the Decree, drunk car drivers shall be fined up to VND 30-40 million (about US$ 1,300-US$ 1,818) instead of the current fine of about US$814, if tests show that alcohol content exceed 80mg per 100 ml of blood or 0.4mg per liter of breath.

In addition their licenses shall be revoked for 22-24 months compared to just 4-6 months at present.

Meanwhile, drunk motorcyclists shall be imposed fines of VND 6-8 million (about US$ 272-US$ 363) and their licenses shall be suspended for 22-24 months.

Drunk cyclists shall also be fined up to VND 600,000 (about US$27).

Earlier last June, the National Assembly passed a landmark bill on preventing harmful effects of alcohol, which includes blanket ban on driving after drinking for all types of vehicles.

The Law, which reflects Viet Nam’s tougher stance on drink-driving, will take effect on January 1, 2020.

Currently, the Southeast Asian country only bans automobile drivers from having any level of breath or blood alcohol concentration.

Motorcyclists are allowed to have up to 50 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood or 0.25 ml of alcohol in one liter of breath.

The new law will also ban advertising alcoholic beverages on television and other media platforms between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm, with the exception of programs relayed from foreign broadcasters.

Advertising alcoholic drinks to persons under 18 years of age or employing underage actors in alcohol adverts are strictly banned under the new law.

No advertisements are allowed for drinks with an alcohol content of 15 percent or more.

Viet Nam is the biggest beer market in Southeast Asia, consuming nearly 4 billion liters in 2017. The country spends on average $3.4 billion a year on alcohol.

Vietnamese consumed 8.9 liters of pure alcohol per person in 2017, surpassing Japan (7.9 liters), China (7.4 liters) and India (5.9 liters). 

Official data shows there were over 4,000 traffic accidents in the country in the first quarter of 2019, leading to 1,905 deaths. Drunk driving was to blame in 274 accidents.

By Hoang Ha