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Heavier drunk driving punishment

04-23-2011 09:26 BJT

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Starting from May 1st, the law on drunk driving will be changed. Drunk driving will now be considered to be dangerous driving, regardless of whether it is accompanied by another traffic offence. My colleague Wang Tao explains the new regulations on drunk driving.

Chen Jia was charged with endangering public security by dangerous methods. According to current Chinese criminal law, the heaviest penalty for a traffic offence is seven years of imprisonment, while endangering public security can carry a life sentence. An expert explains why Chen Jia was charged with the more serious offence.

Prof. Han Yusheng, Renmin Univ. of China, Beijing, said, "He knew that he was drunk. But he was driving, so his drunkenness actually put other people's lives at risk. Even with the possibility of these consequences, he didn't take any precautions. He caused two deaths and two injuries. This is beyond a traffic offence, and can be defined as endangering public security by dangerous methods."

Statistics show that between 2006 and 2010, drunk driving has claimed the lives of more than 3500 people every year, and injured more than 9000. Many people from all walks of life have been calling for heavier sentencing to be imposed. The Third Amendment to the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China meets the call of the society.

Prof. Han Yusheng, Renmin Univ. of China, Beijing, said, "Currently, people are only punished if a traffic offence occurs. That means drunk driving will go unpunished if it does not cause traffic offences. This is the problem the amendment to the criminal law aims to tackle. According to the new amendment, drunk driving, with or without traffic offences, will be punished."

The previous lenient sentence for drunk driving has proven ineffective, as drivers will often take the chance, believing they will not be caught. Under the new amendment, drunk drivers will be viewed as posing a hazard, inviting a heavier sentence.



Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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