Dewan Rakyat Passes Amendments for Harsher Drink-Driving Penalties

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The Dewan Rakyat has passed a bill for harsher penalties on those convicted of reckless and drink-driving that results in injury or death.

The bill passed with a voice vote and received bipartisan support, including from former transport minister Anthony Loke.

The amendments increase jail terms and fines across several sections, with repeat offenders facing harder punishments.

For causing death via reckless driving, Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act will be amended to raise the minimum jail term to five years, up from two years currently. For repeat offenders, they can be jailed between 10 and 15 years.

Fines under Section 41 have also been increased from RM20,000 to RM50,000 for first offenders, with subsequent convictions liable to fines of between RM50,000 and RM100,000.

Licence revocation periods will also be increased from three years to five years.

Meanwhile, for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol that causes harm, the bill expands Section 44 to include punishments for causing injury.

The new Section 44(1A) states that those driving under the influence and causing injury could be jailed for between seven and 10 years and fined between RM30,000 to RM50,000 for first offenders.

Repeat offenders can be jailed between 10 and 15 years and fined between RM50,000 to RM100,000.

They will also lose their licence for at least seven years for the first offence and 10 years for subsequent offences.

Meanwhile, for those driving under the influence and causing death, Section 44(1) will be amended to increase the punishment to between 10 and 15 years’ jail and a fine of between RM50,000 and RM100,000.

Repeat offenders can be jailed between 15 and 20 years and fined between RM100,000 and RM150,000.

They will also not be allowed to drive for at least 10 years for the first offence, and a minimum of 20 years for repeat offenders.

The bill also proposes to raise the punishment for driving under the influence to up to two years’ jail and a fine between RM10,000 and RM30,000 for the first offence with driving licence revocation for two years.

Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to five years and fined between RM20,000 and RM50,000 with their licences revoked for up to five years.

The punishment for being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence, even if one is not driving, is also being raised with a fine of between RM1,000 and RM5,000 and jail for up to one year for the first offence. Their licence will also be revoked for up to two years.

Repeat offenders can be fined between RM5,000 and RM10,000 and jailed up to five years with their licences revoked for up to five years.

The legal limits for alcohol in the blood system has also been lowered to 22 microgrammes in 100ml of breath, 50mg in 100ml of blood, and 67mg in 100ml of urine. – Malaysiakini