IGP moots mandatory jail term for drunk drivers

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador.

PUTRAJAYA: Top cop Abdul Hamid Bador today suggested a mandatory jail sentence for drunk drivers, saying the punishment should not be left to the discretion of judges.

Speaking to reporters after an event here, he said he supported the move by the transport and home ministries to amend the relevant laws but that a deterrent sentence should be included.

“A mandatory jail term – that would deter them,” he said.

“If it is up to the judge, there might be different interpretations from one judge to another.”

Hamid’s comments follow a spate of accidents involving intoxicated drivers.

Police said they had arrested 822 motorists for drink driving over the first five months of this year, with 22 accidents caused by drunk drivers during the same period.

Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong meanwhile said proposed amendments to the Land Transport Act to include heavier penalties for drunk drivers would also cover any form of reckless or dangerous driving.

Speaking today, Hamid said the police were focusing on curbing the Covid-19 pandemic and enforcing the restrictions on public movement.

“Almost 45% of the police strength is used to enforce the movement restrictions from the first phase of the movement control order to the conditional movement control order today,” he said.

“What is most important is that the situation in the country is peaceful so that people can carry out their daily activities.”

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