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Alcohol content, effect on drivers must be reviewed - Academics

08/05/2020 09:19 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 -- The government should review the level of alcohol content in drunk drivers, said academicians.

Lecturer in the Department of Community Health in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Prof Dr Kulanthayan KC Mani said the government is urged to use the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s standard of 50 milligrammes (mg) alcohol content in 100 millimetres (ml) of blood.

“At present, the alcohol limit to detect drunk drivers used in this country is 80mg alcohol content in 100ml blood. The government should lower this level to 50mg alcohol in 100ml blood," he told Bernama.

Dr Kulanthayan who agrees with the government’s proposed amendments to the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333) which will introduce heavier penalties for drunk drivers said that ‘driving under influence’ must also be looked at in a wider context.

“Driving under influence should not only involve driving with alcohol but also the use of drugs and medicine because all three elements have the same effects on driving and risks which could cause death or injury to other road users,” he said.

Kulanthayan said the fastest way of screening a drunk driver in the field is through his breath compared to urine tests and alcohol-content tests.

“So I am proposing that more breath analysers be used to help the enforcement personnel detect drunk drivers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Shatar Sabran who is also a sociologist urged the government to impose heavier penalties on drunk drivers.

 "There should be a heavy penalty which will be a lesson to the people, we do not want others, especially the frontliners to become victims to these irresponsible people,” he said, adding that in some developed countries, the penalty for drunk drivers could even be life imprisonment.

On Monday, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333) will be reviewed to provide a heavier sentence on drivers who cause death or injury to road users.

At present, under Section 44(1)  of the Road Transport Act, the penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, causing death or injury to other is a jail sentence of not less than three years and not more than 10 years, and a fine of not less than RM8,000 and not more than RM20,000.

Last Sunday, police officer Corporal Safwan Muhammad Ismail, 31 died after a four-wheel vehicle driven by a man suspected to be drunk collided into him near the Kajang Selatan toll plaza of the  Kajang-Seremban (LEKAS) Highway.

 

-- BERNAMA

https://www.bernama.com/en/general/news.php?id=1839873

Date of Input: 20/05/2020 | Updated: 20/05/2020 | ahmadmustafa

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