Intoxicated Drivers To Face Almost Double The Penalties In New Proposal

Motorists who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs may soon be slapped with harsher punishments such as longer jail time and even a lifetime driving ban.

On Monday (6 May), these proposed changes to our traffic laws, aimed at deterring irresponsible and dangerous driving, were discussed in Parliament.

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More severe penalties for driving under intoxication

Those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs will face tougher punitive actions under these proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Act (RTA).

First-time offenders will be jailed for up to a year, or fined $2,000-$10,000, and be disqualified from driving for a minimum of 2 years.

For the second offence, drivers will face up to 2 years’ jail, a fine of $5,000-$20,000, and a driving ban for at least 5 years.

These are almost double the severity of existing punishment under our current traffic laws.

Subsequent offences will lead to a lifetime ban from driving, the first of its kind under the RTA.

Additionally, their driving licenses will be suspended with immediate effect to keep them off the roads while the courts reach a verdict.

Harsher punishments for drivers who cause serious injuries

Under the proposal, motorists who cause serious injuries to others or even death will also be subjected to harsher punishment.

For their first offence, they will face 2 to 8 years’ jail and will be disqualified from driving for at least 10 years.

For their second offence, they’ll be jailed 4 to 15 years.

If these offences were committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they will face an additional 1-2 more years of jail time and at least 2 more years of driving disqualification.

Additional penalties for driving under disqualification

Those caught driving without a valid license will also face stiffer penalties under these proposed laws.

First-time offenders will be given a 3 years jail sentence or a fine of $10,000.

These penalties will be doubled should they commit a second offence.

For safer journeys

We hope that these harsher punishments will lead to safer roads for both motorists and pedestrians.

That said, driving safely for fear of being punished may not be the best way forward, as this does not entirely solve the issue of reckless driving.

What should the government do to encourage a safer driving culture in Singapore? Let us know down below.

Featured image from Ministry of Transport.