KUALA LUMPUR: Over 2,000 motorists are caught annually nationwide for driving with blood-alcohol levels above the legal limit.
Roadblocks are regularly conducted, especially on weekends and festive seasons by traffic police to nab motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol or other banned substances.
It is learnt that Kuala Lumpur recorded over half of those arrested yearly while the rest were from other states.
“These are motorists who were caught during operations or random checks.
“There are those who manage to evade the police. We believe there is a higher number of those driving in a drunken state but have escaped police checks,” said a police source.
Federal police traffic investigations and enforcement department director Datuk Azisman Alias was not reachable yesterday for comment and the latest statistics on drunk drivers.
In a report by theSun two weeks ago, former Penang police chief Datuk Seri A. Thaiveegan said the law should stipulate a mandatory jail term of no less than six months for those caught behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol.
He said such a stern move is among steps that the authorities should consider before the situation gets worse.
The criminologist and deputy chairman of the Selangor chapter of the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation also called on the government to mete out mandatory imprisonment on Mat Rempit, or illegal street racers.
“The Mat Rempit are also a menace and often ride under the influence of drugs,” he said.
“Such road users should face mandatory jail sentences of no less than a month. A mere fine is an insufficient deterrent.
“Driving in a sober state (already contributes) a high number of accidents in the country. But to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and to drive is like inviting an accident to happen.
“Innocent people have been maimed and killed. The sorrow caused to the next-of-kin is deep and unimaginable,” he added.
According to police statistics for 2017 and 2018, there were 212 accidents due to drunk drivers. From these, there were 58 deaths in 2017 and 54 in 2018, making up 0.9% of total fatalities.
Read this story on our iPaper:
KL tops nation’s drink-driving cases