Tougher penalties coming for drunk driving in Vietnam (video)

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO) about 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes, up to 26 per cent of them as a result of drunk driving.

In the video above a man in an unidentified location in Vietnam rides his motorcycle for several kilometres on the wrong side of the road. He narrowly avoids oncoming motorbikes and even a truck, managing to steer his vehicle back to the correct side of the road just in time to avoid a collision.

Motorbike riders coming in the opposite direction manage to avoid the drunken lunatic before the inevitable. After dodging one oncoming motorbike the drunken biker attempts to once again swerve to the correct side of the road, hitting an oncoming motorbike rider head-on. The rider of the on-coming motorbike is seen flying over the handlebars, the camera panning to show him sitting on the road, before focusing on the drunk driver sprawled beneath his wrecked machine.

According to Vietnam’s National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) drunk driving is said to account for about 40 per cent of the country’s road deaths, which according to WHO adjusted figures for 2013 totaled more than 61 people a day, or an average of about one person every 20 minutes.

Earlier this year the Vietnamese government updated the country’s law relating to drunk driving. As from August drunk drivers in Vietnam will face fines of US$807 (VND18 million) for driving with a blood alcohol level of 80mg per 100 millilitres of blood, or a breath alcohol level of 0.4mg per litre – a significant increase in the current fine of between $538 and $672 (VND12-15 million). Drivers who refuse to take an alcohol test will face the same penalty.

Also updated on the Vietnam statute books is the fine for driving a vehicle with your feet (yeah, we don’t understand that one either), now $358 (VND 8 million), while motorbike drivers who ride while using an umbrella will be fined $9.00 (VND200,000), up from $3.59 (VND80,000).

However laws are only good if they are enforced by good law enforcement and good law enforcement only comes with a well paid, well trained and well equipped police force. As horrifying as the above video is, it’s only a matter of (a very short) time before a similar video starts doing the rounds of social media.

To steal an adage from Australia: Drink drive, bloody idiot.



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