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China Considers Fining Passengers of Drunk Drivers

posted 12:21 AM EST, Tue October 13, 2009
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China Considers Fining Passengers of Drunk Drivers © Photo Credit: Smoking Permitted

To reduce drunken driving, China’s Ministry of Public Security has proposed new tougher DUI regulations, including fining the passengers of intoxicated drivers for having failed to stop the criminal act.

China’s set to get tough on drunk drivers…and passengers had better watch out too!

In a bid to reduce impaired driving, China’s Ministry of Public Security has proposed fining passengers of drunk drivers.

The passengers would face sanction for not having stopped the crime.

Other proposed measures include:

  • Reducing the maximal allowable Blood Alcohol Content to a very strict 0.02 (America’s is 0.08)
  • Raising the maximum jail term for drunk drivers who are involved in a fatal accident to up to 7 years from the current 3
  • Implementing lifetime driver's license suspensions for repeat DUI offenders

Currently, driving while intoxicated is a criminal act in China, only when the driver causes an injury or death.

Police have questioned the practicality of the new laws, wondering how they would be able to ascertain whether or not passengers knew of their driver’s alcohol consumption. Additionally, due to some ambiguous language used in the drafting of the proposed law, passengers of buses and other commercial vehicles would seem liable for the actions of their drivers – an idea one Shanghai bus commuter called “senseless”.

The Chinese Public Ministry has not responded to questions about the proposed new law.

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