Don’t tolerate activities that lead to drink driving, govt urged

A police officer explains the results of a breathalyser test to a driver stopped at a roadblock at Jalan Hang Tuah, Kuala Lumpur. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: A consumer activist has called for a zero tolerance policy against activities that encourage drink driving.

Beninder Johl, the vice-president of the Malaysia Consumer Movement, said the current government should take a cue from the Pakatan Harapan government, which ignored protests from various quarters in banning smoking in public places.

He proposed a ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages after midnight as well as on festivals and parties that promote drinking.

He said violators of the ban should be jailed.

Johl was commenting on the decision by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to stop issuing liquor sale licences, which some quarters have described as a knee-jerk reaction to a recent increase in drink driving incidents.

Criminal lawyer A Srimurugan said DBKL’s decision would not stop such incidents but would only give law enforcers more headaches.

“People will resort to buying liquor from illegal sources,” he said. “This makes it harder for the government to regulate the alcohol industry.”

He said the strict enforcement of existing legislation would be sufficient.

“There should be regular roadblocks to screen for drunk drivers. Perhaps, if drivers are caught driving after having drunk above the prescribed limit, their driving licences should be suspended immediately for a certain duration.”

DBKL announced the freeze on Tuesday with immediate effect, saying it was responding to Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa’s call for the government to stop issuing liquor sale licences until laws and guidelines are revised.

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