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Taiwan: Stiffer Drunk Driving Provisions

(Jan. 16, 2013) On January 14, 2013, Taiwan’s legislature adopted amendments to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act that increase penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The amendments affect articles 8, 35, and 67 of the Act. (Stiff DUI Penalties OK’d by Taiwan Lawmakers, TAIWAN TODAY (Jan. 15, 2013); Amendment of Articles 8, 35, and 67 of the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act [in Chinese], Legislative Yuan website (Jan. 14, 2013).)

Under the amended law, the maximum fine for driving under the influence is raised from the current NT$60,000 to NT$90,000 (about US$3,113); commission of a second offense within five years will automatically incur the maximum fine. Drivers who fail to stop at a police checkpoint for a sobriety test will be subject to the NT$90,000 fine, have their vehicles impounded and driver’s licenses revoked, and be required to attend classes on traffic safety. (Id.)

Other amendments increase penalties for racing on public roads, removing a vehicle’s muffler, or otherwise creating noise pollution. The revised law bans the offenders from applying for a new driver’s license for three years, in addition to imposing the currently effective fines and license suspension. There are also new provisions on large motorcycles. (Stiff DUI Penalties OK’d by Taiwan Lawmakers, supra.) In the past, motorcycles of 550 cubic centimeters or more in engine displacement were banned from national highways. Now they will be permitted on sections of highway designated by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. (Shelley Shan, Four Wheels Good, Two Wheels Not Worthy: MOTC, TAIPEI TIMES (July 11, 2012).)