Govt vows to get tough on drunk drivers

The amendment to Act 333 will see increase jail sentence and revocation of driving licence


THE government yesterday tabled a bill seeking to increase the jail sentences for people convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, following a recent spike in vehicle crashes involving drunk drivers.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (picture) tabled the bill in the Dewan Rakyat and informed the House that the second and third reading of the bill would be made during this meeting.

The move would stiffen penalties, including fines and jail terms, against offenders found guilty of driving in an intoxicated state. The amendment predominantly involves Sections 41 to 45 of the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333).

The proposed amendments include increasing the jail sentence for those convicted of driving under the influence to the extent of causing death to between 10 and 15 years and a fine to between RM50,000 and RM100,000 for first offenders, upon conviction.

The current punishments for this offence are between three and 10 years of imprisonment and a fine between RM8,000 and RM20,000, upon conviction. For repeat offenders, the jail sentence will be between 15 and 20 years and a fine of between RM100,000 and RM150,000.

Those convicted could also see their driving licence revoked for more than 10 years for first offenders and a minimum of 20 years for repeat offenders.

Penalties for intoxicated drivers who cause injury also see an increase of jail term from the initial three to 10 years to a span of seven to 10 years, and a fine of up to RM50,000 for first offenders, upon conviction.

Repeat offenders can be jailed between 15 and 20 years, with a maximum fine of RM100,000.

Upon conviction, offenders could also see their driving licences revoked for more than seven years for first offenders, and 10 years for repeat offenders.

The bill also seeks to lower the prescribed limit of alcohol level allowed while driving to be in line with the World Health Organisation standards.

The new proposed limit has been set at a dose of 22 micrograms (mg) of alcohol per 100 millilitres (mL) of breath; 50mg of alcohol per 100mL of blood; or 67mg of alcohol per 100 mL of urine.

Currently, the limit is set at a dose of 35mg of alcohol per 100mL of breath; 80mg of alcohol per 100mL of blood; or 107mg of alcohol for 100mL of urine.

The bill will also see the inclusion of “micro-mobility” vehicles into Act 333 to regulate the vehicles.

The term refers to any vehicle that is propelled by electrical means, an internal-combustion engine or human power or a combination of either means and has a maximum speed of 50km/h.

The term is a substitute label that includes bicycles, electric bicycles and tricycles, to address recent incidents involving modified bicycles, which are better known as “basikal lajak”.