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How other countries treat their drunk drivers

world Updated: Jan 09, 2008 01:34 IST

Hindustan Times
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Here is how other countries treat their drunk drivers...

Canada
Punishment for first offence is $600 fine, one-year driving prohibition; or jail. For second offence: 14 days jail, 2-year driving prohibition. If found guilty ever again: 90 days jail, 3-year driving prohibition.

In addition to the federal criminal laws, all provincial governments have their own measures against impaired driving. In Ontario, a person convicted for drunk driving must also complete an eight-month training course and install an ignition interlock device for a period of one year after licence suspension. In 2005, a man with a history of drink driving was sentenced to six years in prison; the most severe penalty ever handed down in Canada when the offence did not involve a fatality.

USA
The various versions of driving under the influence here constitute a crime punishable by up to one year in jail. However, the offence may be elevated if the accident results in injury, death or massive property damage or the accused is a habitual offender, which entails even stringent punishment.

California, which is being followed by a growing number of states, now charges second-degree murder where the legal state of mind of malice exists — that is, where the defendant exhibited a reckless indifference to the lives of others.

UK
Overspeeding or drink driving carries a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000 and a minimum 12 months’ driving ban. An endorsement for a drink-driving offence remains on a driving licence for 11 years. Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison, a minimum 2-year driving ban and a requirement to pass an extended driving test before the offender is able to drive legally again.

China
Driving under alcohol influence, one can be imprisoned for a maximum 15 days and his licence suspended for up to 6 months.

Hong Kong
Driving under alcohol influence beyond legal limit, one can be fined and jailed up to 3 years.