Reckless drivers, or those driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, could face up to 20 years in jail if amendments are made to the Road Transport Act 1987, said Datuk Liew Vui Keong
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department for Legal Affairs said the government is currently looking into introducing stiffer punishments on reckless driving leading to deaths, reported The Star.
"The Cabinet has, in principle, agreed that the law related to reckless driving and driving under the influence must be amended to bring heavier punishments," said Liew in a press conference yesterday, 13 February.
"Among the considerations is to raise the jail terms to 20 years."
Liew said he will leave it to the Ministry of Transport (MOT) to enact the amendments in Dewan Rakyat
The minister said the MOT was responsible for formulating the amendments and conducting any necessary studies as the Act is under their purview.
"What the Cabinet wants to see is fewer road deaths caused by drivers who are reckless or intoxicated. The offenders must also be given a fairer punishment," added Liew.
Under the current Section 41 of the Road Transport Act (APJ 1987), those who are found guilty for reckless driving and causing death can be jailed a minimum of two years and up to 10 years, and a fine between RM5,000 and RM20,000.
The government is also looking into decreasing the permissible level of alcohol in drivers' blood
As of now, the prescribed limit of alcohol content in drivers' blood is set at 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.
The international standard recommended by the World Health Organisation is 50mg in 100ml of blood.
When asked if cases involving drunk driving leading to deaths could be prosecuted under Section 304 of the Penal Code for causing death without intent, Liew said traffic offences are subjected to the APJ 1987
There were a total of 158 drunk driving cases in January alone, revealed the Kuala Lumpur Traffic and Investigation Department (JSPT KL)
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Zulkefly Yahya, the head of JSPT KL, said among 158 individuals arrested, 118 have been charged and 40 are still under investigation, reported Bernama.
He said there was one case of drunk driving leading to death last year and three cases in 2018.