Driving under the influence of alcohol
With effect from 1 November 2019, drink driving laws have become stricter. To deter irresponsible driving, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) plans to enhance criminal penalties, especially for offences where the motorist exhibits egregious driving behaviour and causes serious harm to the victim. As a result, longer imprisonment terms, disqualification periods and heavier fines will be imposed on offenders who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Under Section 67(1)(b) of the Road Traffic Act (RTA), any person who drives or attempts to drive a motor vehicle with so much alcohol in his body that
- the proportion of it in his breath exceeds 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath; or
- the proportion of it in his blood exceeds 80 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood,
shall be guilty of a drink driving offence.
First-time offenders of drink driving can generally expect a fine between $2,000 and $10,000 and disqualification from holding or obtaining a driving license for at least 2 years.
In the event that a first-time offender of drink driving gets into an accident and causes physical injury and/or property damage, an imprisonment term not exceeding 12 months will usually be imposed. In addition, they can be charged with another offence of
- Reckless or dangerous driving under Section 64(1) of the RTA; or
- Driving without due care or reasonable consideration under Section 65(1) of the RTA.
Repeat offenders of drink driving will face a mandatory imprisonment term not exceeding 2 years, a disqualification period of at least 5 years and a fine between $5,000 and $20,000.
Additionally, a repeat offender can be sentenced to a maximum of 3 times the amount of punishment which he would have otherwise faced in order to deter him from reoffending. In cases where a person who has been convicted of a drink driving offence on 2 or more occasions is convicted again, he is to be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for life.
For more information contract Raphae Louis at 90908288, a criminal lawyer in Singapore.