DUI campaign catches dozens of violators in HCMC after three hours

By Dinh Van   November 15, 2023 | 04:00 am PT
DUI campaign catches dozens of violators in HCMC after three hours
Traffic police officers check alcohol level of a driver in Thu Duc City, HCMC, Nov. 14, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Van
Dozens of drivers in HCMC were fined Tuesday for alcohol level violations, just three hours into the city's year-end DUI inspection campaign.

Traffic police deployed several checkpoints starting 8 p.m. to search for alcohol level violations in areas with high number of vehicles. At the Kha Van Can-Pham Van Dong intersection, the police stopped a pickup truck and found its 55-year-old driver with an alcohol level at 0.097 mg/l of breath.

He admitted to have drunk "a little beer", but decided to drive anyway as he was not drunk. He was fined VND7 million ($288.32) and his license was revoked for 11 months.

Around 2 km away, another driver of a seven-seat car was also stopped by traffic police. His alcohol level was 0.383 mg/l of breath. He was fined VND17 million and his license was revoked for 17 months. The driver said he had a drinking party with friends after work in District 12, before driving back home.

"I know driving after drinking beer is a violation, but I did not think I would be checked," he said.

To increase the campaign's effectiveness, traffic police officers also randomly checked vehicles stopping at traffic lights. If there was alcohol in their breaths, drivers would be asked to pull over.

"This helps officers check more vehicles, instead of having to stop them one by one," a traffic police officer said.

Within just three hours of checking, officers fined dozens of drivers for alcohol level violations.

The DUI campaign is expected to last until Dec. 31, with officers patrolling every night to look for alcohol level violations. The police said the campaign is to prevent people who go to drinking party at the end of the year and may cause accidents by drunk driving.

Any amount of alcohol found in a person's system will result in his/her driving license being revoked, under Vietnamese law. The highest penalties are VND40 million (US$1,640) fine and 24 months of license revocation, although one can face criminal charges if the violation results in accidents.

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