New drunk driving law amendment passes Legislature

TAIPEI (CNA) – The Legislature yesterday passed a law amendment that creates different penalties for motorcyclists and car drivers caught driving under the influence (DUI) and increases fines for drunk driving.

Under the amendment to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act, scooter and motorcycle drivers convicted of first time DUI offenses will be subject to a fine of NT$15,000- NT$90,000 (US$495-US$2,970), while second-time offenders could face a fine of NT$90,000.

In addition, motorists can be fined NT$30,000-NT$120,000 for first-time DUI offenses, while second-time offenders are liable to a fine of NT$120,000.

For third-time offenses, motorcyclists risk a fine of NT$180,000 and motorists NT$210,000, according to the amendment.

Under the existing law, motorcyclists and car drivers found guilty of drunk driving are fined NT$15,000-NT$90,000.

The amended law also stipulates that drivers who refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood test risk a fine of NT$180,000 and suspension of their license.

In cases where a driver receives more than one DUI conviction, or refuses to take a breathalyzer or blood test over a five-year period, or is involved in an incident that results in serious injury or fatalities, the driver’s vehicle can be confiscated and his or her license permanently revoked.

The amendment also imposes a possible fine of NT$3,000 on anyone who is a passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver.

As for drunk driving offenders who are instructed to install “breath alcohol ignition interlock devices” but fail to do, they will be subject to a fine of NT$6,000-NT$12,000.

By Liu Kuan-ting and Evelyn Kao