Published on July 17th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
Here’s How Drunk Driving Laws in Malaysia Are Changing
The Malaysian government is responding to the increase in accidents involving drunk drivers by amending the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333) in a number of ways. Despite months under Movement Control, Malaysia has already recorded 12 deaths involving drunk drivers in 2020. As such, there’s a real need for harsher laws and better enforcement.
Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, the current Transport Minister, spoke in Parliament earlier this week. He said his proposed amendments would be passed soon.
Here’s are the key changes you should be aware of:
Tolerance for blood alcohol content
Down from 35µg/100ml of breath to 22µ/100ml of breath.
Down from 80mg/100ml of blood to 50mg/100ml of blood.
Down from 107mg/100ml of urine to 67mg/100ml of urine.
First time offender penalty
Up from 10 years imprisonment and RM20,000 fine to 15 years imprisonment and RM100,000 fine.
Up from 10 years suspension to 20 years suspension.
Mandatory Prison Sentences
Sentencing will be changed from “fined OR jailed” to “fined AND jailed”.
Here’s Section 44 from the Road Transport Act 1987 as it stands now.
Driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs
(1) Any person who, when driving a motor vehicle on a road or
other public place—
(a) is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug, to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle; or
(b) has so much alcohol in his body that the proportion of it in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit, and causes the death of or injury to any person shall be guilty of an offence and *shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than three years and not more than ten years and to a fine of not less than eight thousand ringgit and not more than twenty thousand ringgit.
(2) The court shall order particulars of any conviction under this section to be endorsed on any driving licence held by the person convicted.
(3) A person convicted under this section shall be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for a period of *not less than five years from the date of the conviction and, in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, be disqualified for a period of ten years from the date of the conviction.
(4) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where a person who is a holder of a probationary driving licence is convicted under this section, the court shall revoke his driving licence.
(5) Notwithstanding anything in any written law for the time being in force, the court before which a person is charged with an offence under this section shall order the immediate confiscation of the driving licence of that person and shall order the suspension of the licence commencing from the date the charge is first read to that person and such suspension shall have effect—
(a) until the court makes a final decision on the charge; and
(b) as if the suspension is the suspension referred to in section
(5A) If the driving licence of the person referred to in subsection (5) is incorporated in a multipurpose electronic card or device, the order of the court under that subsection shall be deemed to have been complied with if the particulars of the order are included in the database maintained by or on behalf of the Director General of driving licences granted under this Act and holders of such driving licences.
(5B) Notwithstanding subsection (5A), the Director may direct the person referred to in subsection (5) to surrender, within such period as the Director may specify, the multipurpose electronic card or device in which the driving licence is incorporated to him, or to a road transport officer authorized in writing in that behalf by the Director General, for the inclusion in the data stored in the card or device the particulars of the order of the court made under subsection (5) and the Director or such authorized officer shall, after such inclusion, immediately return the card or device to the person.