I gets a DUI fine just because I drank a little the previous day

April 8, 2024 | 03:28 pm PT
Readers argued that Vietnam's absolute alcohol ban is too much as one can be fined just because they drove after drinking some alcohol from the day before.

Reader Huyhoang shared about his case when he was punished for a low alcohol concentration.

"I was fined VND7 million (US$280) and my license was revoked for 11 months because my alcohol concentration was 0.055 mg/l of breath. I only drank a little alcohol the day before. I was very sober, didn't feel drunk at all. I had no clue that there was alcohol left in my body.

Of course, according to regulations, I still had to accept the penalty. But perhaps the zero alcohol level under Vietnam’s regulations is too absolute and entails many shortcomings. I specialize in supplying goods to mechanics - a profession that requires very high precision. But I also don't see my partners applying it absolutely to every mm, there is always an allowable range (+- 0.05 mm or 0.1 mm, depending on the unit).

Is the zero alcohol concentration regulation causing many difficulties for people? Shouldn't the authorities review alcohol regulations in an objective way before deciding whether or not there should a 'green zone' in alcohol punishment?"

Reader Mr.Tri shared a similar point that the absolute ban on alcohol levels for drivers is "too strict and inappropriate."

"I strongly support strict punishment against drunk drivers to restore traffic order and safety, but I don't think we should impose such an absolute ban. That regulation is unreasonable. What we need to do is to catch all the violators who are actually drunk and still drive, rather than wasting time handling cases with alcohol levels a little bit more than zero.

Some people might just argue that they have had some fruits or fermented drinks. It's hard to know if they tell the truth, but we can avoid such arguments by establishing a safety threshold other than 0, a standard that does not affect one's mental state when driving. Anyone who tests higher than this level, for whatever reason, will be fined. Measuring and testing machines also make errors, so it is impossible to be absolute about everything. Should we also ban all fermented foods then?"

With opposing views, reader Tuanle argued: "I don't understand why we keep arguing about this issue? Each person's body's reaction to alcohol is different. Some people only drink one can of beer and get drunk, unable to control their behavior. But some people drink up to five cans and are still as alert as ever.

So if a certain minimum alcohol concentration level is allowed, for example equivalent to two cans of beer, would a person with a low alcohol tolerance who gets drunk after one can violate the rules when they drive? At that time, we will continue to have the argument about low and high tolerance for alcohol. Human life is precious, let's look at the current situation of traffic accidents in Vietnam and its consequences to take reasonable measures."

Also supporting the absolute alcohol ban, reader Trungacs analyzed: "Developed countries that have a minimum alcohol concentration threshold also did scientific research, which showed that even if the alcohol concentration is below the minimum level, the drivers are still mentally affected and can cause traffic accidents.

Vietnam regulates alcohol content at zero and is doing it in the most cautious way. In developed countries, people have the minimum level because they have good transportation, strict sanctions, and good infrastructure. What can we do to be equal to them and demand the same minimum alcohol concentration?"

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
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