Govt will not make it mandatory for drinkers to be screened before leaving pub

03 Aug 2020 / 21:24 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is unlikely to make it mandatory for drinkers to be screened before leaving a pub.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong (pix) said practices such as the “blow before you go” procedure seen in countries such as Australia to curb drink-driving is not compulsory.

“Some business operators have even bought breathalysers but we are not making its use mandatory,” he said in reply to a supplementary question by Datuk Mohd Nizar Zakaria (BN - Parit).

“Instead, we want to encourage drinkers to use e-hailing services.”

To another question from Datuk Dr Hasan Bahrom (PH - Tampin) on how to curb drink-driving, Wee said Malaysia can learn from countries like Japan.

He cited accountability and stressed on the importance of being responsible.

“The government wants to emphasise on conduct. Anyone who drinks alcohol, no matter where, should not drive. Even if a person drinks only a little, he should not drive.”

He also said outlets serving alcohol should participate in public awareness campaigns and advise customers.

On compensation for victims of road accidents caused by reckless driving, Wee said he would elaborate on the matter in his wrap-up speech on the Road Transport (Amendment) Act 2020.

The bill which was tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat recently, sought to amend Section 45(g) of the Act to lower the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit.

He said if the amendments to Section 41 to 45 of the Act are passed, those found guilty of reckless driving would face heavier penalties.

Revision to the Act will see an increase in jail terms from a maximum of 10 years and a fine of up to RM20,000 now to a maximum of 15 years in jail and a fine of up to RM100,000 for driver convicted of drink-driving accidents that cause death.

An online survey by the ministry between May 21 and June 4 found that 94% of the 345,000 respondents agreed to have the maximum penalties for such offenders.

“The government views death caused by drink-driving seriously. All stakeholders must work together in an effort to address the problem.

“At present, the ministry is focused on enforcement and education but it is continuously working with other agencies to improve public awareness on the issue,” Wee added.

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