Singapore

Traffic Police to step up anti-drink driving enforcement action

Motorists suspected of driving while drunk were stopped by traffic police officers yesterday in anti-drink-driving enforcement operations in areas including Punggol and Clarke Quay, which started at 4pm.

Through such patrols and road blocks at multiple areas, including near public entertainment outlets and in the heartlands, the police hope to dissuade drivers from taking a sip before they hit the wheel, especially during the festive season.

Superintendent Ho Yenn Dar, Traffic Police's head of the Operations and Training Branch, said: "We want to send out the message that the traffic police conducts checks not only at roadblocks, in the city and in the wee hours, but also in the heartland and at all times of the day.

"Many drivers have the misconception that checks are only conducted at certain areas and at certain times."

Such efforts appear to have paid off, as there were fewer drink-driving related accidents in the first nine months of this year.

The number fell from 111 between January and September last year to 70 in the same period this year.

The number of deaths or injuries also declined from 165 in the first nine months of last year to 96 this year. This comes on the back of a longer-term decline in drink-driving offences since 2014.

Yesterday, during the operation, which was observed by the media, a driver was stopped near Rumbia LRT in Sengkang around 8.30pm for driving unsteadily. He was let off after he passed a breathalyser test.

Another was stopped along Kallang Road an hour later and was arrested when he failed the test.

Drink drivers, upon conviction, will lose their driving licences and be disqualified from driving for at least 12 months.

Repeat offenders may be punished with a maximum fine of $30,000 and a mandatory jail term of up to three years. They may also receive up to 6 strokes of the cane.

COURT & CRIME