MoT finalising amendments to Act 333, heavier penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs

There has been a spate of drunk driving incidents of late that claimed lives. While the perpetrators have been charged and hauled to court almost immediately in the most recent cases (Toyota C-HR lawan arus in Pahang and Nissan Grand Livina dragging a motorcyclist along Mahameru in KL are among them), many are calling for heavier punishment for those driving under the influence and causing injury and death. The prime minister has also weighed in and asked for the same.

This is in the works. Transport minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong has reiterated that his ministry is working on amendments to the law that will see heavier punishment to those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Wee posted on Facebook yesterday, saying that the amendments to Sections 41 to 45 of the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333) will be brought to the cabinet for approval before heading to parliament to be tabled during the next sitting.

“We will definitely impose heavier penalties and longer jail terms on the driver of the vehicle. Especially those who are intoxicated and under the influence of drugs, we will not compromise and they will be subject to the heaviest penalties,” he said in the video, embedded above.

Wee also stressed on the importance of education, adding that the MoT will be engaging with stakeholders to educate the public on the dangers of DUI. The Ayer Hitam MP said that road safety education will be enhanced so that Malaysians will know what’s right and wrong behind the wheel from young.

“We are putting our energy into stepping up our education in order to raise awareness among the public that a person is intoxicated and under the influence of drugs,” he said, adding that MoT will also be revising the legal limit for alcohol in the body while driving, which currently is 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.

At present, Section 41 of Act 333 says that a person who is found guilty of driving under the influence can be hit with a fine of between RM5,000 and RM20,000 and/or jail from two to 10 years. Remember, if you’re drinking, don’t drive – use e-hailing services or a designated driver who didn’t consume alcohol.

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