New drunk driving fines to slow beer market growth

By Minh Son   January 8, 2020 | 06:34 pm PT
New drunk driving fines to slow beer market growth
People hold glasses of beer in Hanoi. Photo by Shutterstock/Kittibowornphatnon.
With new drunk driving laws doubling fines and revoking driving licenses for up to two years, beer sales in Vietnam are expected to take a hit.

The country consumed some 4.6 billion liters of beer in 2019 after rising 10 percent from 2018, but growth could fall to 6-7 percent this year, top brokerage SSI Securities Corporation (SSI) said in a note.

The Law on Preventing Alcohol's Harmful Effects, which came into effect on January 1, fines cyclists and electric motorbike riders VND400,000-600,000 ($17-26) for drunk driving.

Motorcyclists and car drivers could be fined VND6-8 million and VND30-40 million, double the old levels, and every caught driving a vehicle under the influence could lose their licenses for 22-24 months.

In the first six days of the year 2,673 people have been penalized, according to police figures.

Restaurants and bars have reported a slide in business and are offering to drive drinkers home.

Forty percent of road accidents in Vietnam is linked to excessive drinking, according to the WHO, which it said is an alarming rate for a country where road crashes kill one person every hour on average.

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