Drunk driving punishments shoot up 600% during Tet compared to last year

By Gia Chinh   January 30, 2023 | 11:01 pm PT
Drunk driving punishments shoot up 600% during Tet compared to last year
A police officer tests a car driver for alcohol in Hanoi during the run-up to Tet, January 17, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh
Vietnam police have fined 7,700 people for drunk driving during the Tet holiday, a huge surge of 600% against the same period last year.

The Traffic Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security said that during the seven-day Tet break from January 20-26, almost 22,000 traffic violations had been handled.

Among them, more than 7,700 were for driving under the influence of alcohol, a sharp increase compared to the last Tet, when Vietnamese were granted nine days' break.

The northern port city of Hai Phong took the lead with 600 cases, followed by Hanoi with 560, and Ho Chi Minh City and central Quang Nam Province with 480 each.

Police said they had tightened inspections by setting up more mobile checkpoints on the streets, including those close to pubs, to see if drivers were drunk when driving, resulting in more DUI violations found.

In accordance with Vietnamese law, anyone driving with alcohol present in their body faces either fines or criminal charges.

Under current regulations, alcohol concentration of more than 80mg/100 ml of blood or 0.4mg/l of breath attracts the highest fines of VND30-VND40 million ($1,293-$1,724). Drunk driving only invites criminal prosecution when it causes accidents or other consequences. There have been calls for making the laws more stringent and clearer.

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