Vietnam mulls Law on Alcohol Harm Prevention
Drunk driving is not a mistake, it’s a crime

Drivers from now on must reach the blood alcohol concentration at zero to be allowed to drive vehicle –VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai


Speaking at the conference in HCM City last Friday, where a study by the Vietnamese-German University’s Vietnamese-German Transport Research Centre on drunk driving in Việt Nam was tabled, Vu Anh Tuan, the centre’s director, said 68 per cent of people who drink alcohol drive home afterwards.

The data was based on feedback from 300 people at six restaurants in the city who had drunk alcohol before riding their motorbikes home.

Researchers followed them and found that 36 per cent of the drunk drivers failed to signal they were turning, 26 per cent rode on the wrong side of the road and 17 per cent did not turn on the headlight.

But most of the violators said they felt safe when driving home after drinking.

The study did not say if any of them met with accidents.

Research shows that more than 70 per cent of motorcycle accidents occur due to alcohol.

Another study by the centre on a vehicle simulator found that when the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches 20mg/100ml, the possibility of accidents tripled.

It went up to five times when the BAC reached 50mg/100ml.

The city Traffic Safety Department plans to get experts to organise seminars and training programmes for local authorities to enable them to carry out propaganda programmes against drunk driving.

The traffic police will carry out more checks for drunk driving and severely penalise violations.

The city will also organise programmes at schools to warn children about the effects of drink driving
Le Huy Tri, deputy director of the city Traffic Safety Research Centre, said the recent nation-wide traffic campaign from July 15 to August 14 had temporarily brought down drunk driving violations.

But the effect did not last long, he admitted.

According to Nguyen Vu Hanh Phuc, head of the department, every year there are 25,000 cases of drunk driving in the country.

In April in Hanoi, a drunk driver lost control of his car and slammed into a sanitation worker while she was working on the street instantly killing her.

He seemed to have been so drunk that he was not sober enough to speak to the police until the next morning. VNS