Following up on their major drunk driving crackdown earlier this year, China is now introducing a new law that will tighten the rules even further for drink and drive offenders. The new law states that motorists who are caught driving under the influence of alcohol will lose all of their demerit points.
Previously, if caught drink driving, motorists would lose six points on their licenses. Now all 12 points come off and they are immediately suspended from the road. In order to get back on the road, offenders must complete a seven-day course on traffic laws and pay a higher premium on their insurance.
And it’s not only drink-drivers that the government is cracking down on. Motorists that drive in the wrong direction, do illegal U-turns or use counterfeit number plates will all have the same punishment; 12 points deducted and suspension of drivers license.
On the other hand, safe drivers will get pats on the back, with insurance rates lowering for every year they stay accident and demerit free.
Statistics from last year suggested that Shanghai road accidents linked with drink driving were almost double that of national average. With 8.3 per cent of fatalities last year being caused by drunk driving compared with 4.3 per cent in previous years, it comes as no surprise that China’s Ministry of Public Security is tightening up the laws.
Still, those holding their breath for a sudden change in people’s behavior should probably let it out – bad driving, illegal U-turns, overtaking and general bad road etiquette seems to be part and parcel of driving in China.
As, Wang Hongyan, the leader of a “>Shanghai based research team from Tongji University admitted, “Preventing and reducing drunk driving is really a long-term mission.”