Cabinet agrees on higher penalties for drink driving, says Loke

A tour bus driver has been charged with drink driving after his vehicle crashed into the back yard of a terrace house in November.

PUTRAJAYA: The Cabinet has agreed to impose heavier penalties for offences related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and reckless driving, said Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook.

Three sections of the Road Transport Act 1987 would be amended to tighten existing laws with harsher penalties.

Loke said the ministry would hold discussions with the police, Attorney-General’s Chambers and related departments to enable the amendments to be brought to the Parliament as early as July.

He said Section 45 concerning the alcohol content in the driver’s blood might be amended.

The current law permits up to 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, compared to the international limit set by the World Health Organisation of 50mg/100ml, he said.

“The existing provision is less stringent than the international standard,” he told a press conference at the ministry here today.

Loke said Section 41, concerning reckless and dangerous driving which causes death, would also be amended.

It currently provides for a jail term of between two and 10 years and a fine of between RM5,000 and RM20,000.

Currently, under Section 44, those who are found guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to RM20,000.