New traffic law enshrines zero alcohol limit for drivers

By Son Ha   June 26, 2024 | 06:58 pm PT
New traffic law enshrines zero alcohol limit for drivers
A police officer checks the alcohol level in the breath of a motorcyclist in Hanoi in 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh
Legislators passed the Law on Road Traffic Order and Safety Bill Thursday, and it includes the provision that drivers should not have any alcohol in their system.

The National Assembly Standing Committee, the legislature’s highest body, sought the opinions of lawmakers electronically on June 21 and found that 293 out of 388 deputies concurred with the zero blood and breath alcohol provision.

The provision has been implemented for several years, but only now is set to become law.

293 out of 388 deputies (75.52%) agreed to prohibit drivers from operating vehicles when having alcohol in their blood or breath. Of the total, 95 deputies suggested setting a zero alcohol limit, and eight had other opinions.

The remaining deputies suggested having a maximum alcohol limit, and eight had other opinions.

The Standing Committee said that maintaining the zero alcohol tolerance aims to protect the life, health and property of citizens and safeguard social resources.

It would help establish a culture of "no drinking and driving," it said.

The law also formalizes the existing penalties for driving under the influence: drivers with alcohol level of below 50 mg/100ml of blood or 0.25 mg/liter of breath will be fined VND2-3 million and have their driving license suspended for 10-12 months.

For alcohol levels from 50 mg to 80 mg or 0.25 mg-0.4 mg, the fine is VND4-5 million and a license suspension of 16-18 months.

For levels exceeding 80 mg or 0.4 mg, the fine is VND6-8 million and the revocation is for 22-24 months.

In the U.S., it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% (equivalent to 80 mg/100 ml) or more.

The limit is the same in Malaysia and Singapore.

In Thailand and the Philippines it is 0.05%.

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