Jan 09, 2020 / 17:15

Stricter penalties for drunk driving help reduce road accidents

The Hanoitimes - Normally, Thanh Nhan Hospital in Hanoi admits about 100-130 patients per day, but the number of emergency cases fell to 60-70 last week.

One week after more severe penalties for drunk driving are implemented, the number of alcohol-related road crash has declined sharply, VnExpress reported.

Vu Xuan Hung, head of the Department of Orthopedic Trauma under Thanh Nhan Hospital in Hanoi, was quoted as saying on January 8 that the number of patients hospitalized for traffic accidents has decreased by a half over the past week.

 Doctor.Hung visits a patient on January 8. Photo: P.Q

Normally, the hospital's emergency department admits about 100-130 patients per day, but there were only 60-70 emergency cases last week.

"Especially, no patients have been admitted to the hospital due to alcohol related traffic accidents," Hung said.

Hung stressed that the result is thanks to the new Law on Prevention and Control of Harmful Effects of Alcoholic Beverages and a new regulation imposing heavier penalties on drunk driving.

Do Manh Hung, deputy head of the General Planning Department under Vietnam – Germany Friendship Hospital, said that from January 1 to 6, the hospital served 305 traffic accident victims. Of them, 46 cases are related to alcohol, a decrease of more than 4% year-on year.

According to Hanoi 115 Emergency Call Center, every day it handles reports of about 90 emergency cases, of which 20% are accidents caused by drunk drivers. However, in the first week of 2020, the rate of people hospitalized for alcohol related road accidents decreased to 8%.

Alcohol and beer poisonings also decreased. Le Van Dan, deputy head of the Department of Positive Resuscitation under Thanh Nhan Hospital said that in the previous years, the department received many cases of alcohol and beer poisoning when Tet holiday neared. However, since January 1, no cases of poisoning have been recorded at the department.

"The new Law on Prevention and Control of Harmful Effects of Alcoholic Beverages has helped reduce the pressure on the health sector," said Dan.

According to the National Traffic Safety Committee and statistics from the municipal Department of Traffic Police, after the first six days heavier fines on alcohol users are in place, the total number of traffic accident fatalities is 103, down by four deaths year-on-year. The number of traffic accidents also dropped sharply.

The higher fines came into effect on January 1. Bicycle drivers shall be subject to a fine of up to VND400,000-600,000 (US$17.3-26) if found riding after drinking alcoholic beverages, says the decree which will take effect on January 1, 2020. The fine is applied for those who have alcohol content exceeding 80 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood or exceeding 0.4 milligrams per liter of breathing air. This is the highest fine for bicyclists.

A fine of from VND 200,000-300,000 (US$8.6-12.9) shall be imposed upon when bicyclists have an alcohol content of between 50 milligrams and 80 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood or from 0.25 milligrams to 0.4 milligrams per liter of breathing air.

According to new regulations, car drivers will be fined up to VND30-40 million (US$1,297-1,729) and have their driving license revoked for 22-24 months if they break regulations on drunk driving. Motorcyclists may face a VND6-8 million (US$259-346) fine and have their driving license revoked for 22-24 months for the same offense. These are the highest penalties for car drivers and motorcyclists.