Stricter penalties for Driving Under The Influence (DUI) has gone into effect as of last Friday, after the latest series of amendments to the Road Transport Act 1987 (RTA 1987) being passed by the Dewan Rakyat on 21st October.
The new amendments, which include stricter DUI penalties if charged under Section 41 through 45 of the RTA 1987 have been implemented as a means to kerb the rising number of DUI reckless driving, which has been on the rise since the start of the year.
The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) reported 21 cases of drunk driving recorded from January to May of this year, eight cases involving deaths, which is a substantial spike of 23 cases recorded throughout 2019.
Image credit: AlHijrah News
Under the new amendments of the RTA 1987:
- Section 41 – Offences of reckless driving causing death will incur a fine of between RM 20,000 to RM 50,000, and a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years.
- Section 45 – Offences caused by reckless DUI of drugs and alcohol will be separated into two categories – the first is offences causing injury to others, and second, offences causing death.
Penalties have also been increased for multiple offenders:
- First-time offender for reckless DUI causing death: Fine of between RM50k and RM100k, a jail sentence of between 10-15 years, and suspension of driver’s license for 10 years.
- Second-time offender for reckless DUI causing death: Fine of between RM100k and RM150k, a jail sentence of between 15-20 years, and suspension of driver’s license for 20 years.
Just to recap, the legal limits of consumption as prescribed in Section 45 (G) of the road transport act.
- 35 microgrammes (μg) of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath (measured using a breathalyzer)
- 80 milligrammes (mg) of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (0.08% Blood Alcohol Content - BAC); or
- 107 milligrammes (mg) of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine.
Image credit: US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
According to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ir. Dr. Wee Ka Siong – prior to the tabling of the new amendments, his department conducted multiple discussions with various government agencies (such as MIROS) and NGOs. Separately a survey of approximately 345,000 people resulted in 94 percent of responders supporting stricter DUI penalties for wrongdoers.
So you know what not to do now, so just don't drink and drive!