Lawmakers pass stiffer DUI penalty for soldiers


By Joseph Yeh,The China Post

Legislators yesterday passed an amendment bill to introduce a tougher penalty for military personnel for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol.

The amendment to the Article 54 of the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces (陸海空軍刑法) that cleared the legislative floor yesterday morning raises the penalty for military personnel for driving under the influence of anesthetics, alcohol or other similar substances to two years of imprisonment, detention, or a fine of NT$200,000. Previous regulations stipulated a penalty of at least one year in prison for DUI convictions, or a fine of NT$150,000. The change was made after the Legislative Yuan passed a similar amendment last week to the Criminal Code (刑法) Article 185-3, which toughens the penalty for DUI drivers. The amendment to the Criminal Code raises the penalty for violators to two years of imprisonment, detention, or a fine of NT$200,000.

The bill also introduces a one to seven year jail term for DUI convictions that results in the death of another person.

Ruling Kuomintang (KMT) caucus whip Chao Li-yun said the KMT proposed to amend the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces since the rules apply to the military personnel should be stricter than the rules apply to ordinary people. The number of accidents caused by drunken driving remains high and endangers the safety of people’s lives, health and property, said Chao. If military personnel are found to be involved in accidents due to drunken driving, it would cause serious impact to the combat readiness and the image of the armed forces, she added.