Criminal law

Updated: 2010-08-31 13:27
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Criminal law

Law amendments
As our economy grows and society gets increasingly motorized, dangerous driving, in the forms of drunk driving, racing in densely populated communities and speeding, have turned out to be a new and lethal threats to public security.

Given the ineffectiveness of previous attempts to persuade drivers to give up the lethal habit, which puts both drivers and the rest of society in harm's way, creating a new crime and spelling out sufficiently serious legal penalties carries our last ray of hope for a difference in driver behavior.

Criminal law

Risky driving

As lawmakers deliberate on the amendment to the Criminal Law that criminalizes drunk driving, there are complaints about it being unnecessarily harsh.

However, criminalizing drunk driving is based on a clear and present danger to society, one whose potential harm far outweighs all the above considerations.

Drunk driving, not driving under the influence, is a proven cause of traffic accidents on our roads. Given its potential harm to both the drivers, passengers and others on the road, there is a widely shared consensus that this risky behavior should be prohibited.

Drunk driving does absolutely no good and is harmful and threatening to all parties involved. Making it taboo, by means of criminal penalties, is the only sensible answer to the pervasive phenomenon.

Driving sensibility

Many had hoped the law to be strict enough to deter drunk driving.

Criminal law
Chinese characters "drunk" and "crime" are cuffed together

Yet the draft amendment seeks to treat drunk drivers with kid gloves. Drunk drivers will be remanded in police custody and fined only if "the circumstances are serious". This is surprising, for even under the current policies, every drunk driver that is caught is fined, taken into police custody, and has his/her driver's license confiscated.

If the draft is made into law without modifications, it will surely send the wrong message, which would be against the proclaimed purpose of discouraging drunk driving.

We urge the legislators to not lose sight of the devastating consequences of drunk driving and society's imperative need for an effective legal deterrent against it.

The least they could do is to delete the only if "circumstances are serious" precondition, and make the punishment for drunk driving as strict as possible.



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