Here Are The New, Harsher Punishments For Reckless Driving And Drink-Driving In Malaysia
The bill to amend the Road Transport Act 1987 (also known as Act 333) has been tabled for its first reading in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday, 27 July
The amendments will focus on increasing the penalties and punishments for reckless driving as well as driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
In some cases, imprisonment will be made mandatory.
According to New Straits Times, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the reason the ministry decided to focus on these aspects was to ensure that Malaysian roads were safe for all.
"We are making imprisonment mandatory because we want Malaysians to understand that we are serious about curbing road accidents that lead to deaths," Wee told a media briefing at the Parliament building yesterday.
1. Reckless driving
For reckless driving that results in death, first-time offenders will be jailed between five and 10 years, fined between RM20,000 and RM50,000, and have their driving licence taken away for five years or more.
Repeat offenders will be sent to jail between 10 and 15 years, fined between RM50,000 and RM100,000, and will face licence disqualification for 10 years.
Meanwhile, reckless drivers that do not cause death will face penalties similar to the current Act, which includes a maximum of five years' jail, a RM5,000 to RM15,000 fine, and have their licence revoked for five years; repeat offenders face a maximum of 10 years' jail and a fine of between RM10,000 and RM20,000.
Careless and inconsiderate drivers can also be jailed and fine. First-time offenders will be fined between RM5,000 and RM10,000. They may also face a year's jail.
Repeat offenders will be fined between RM10,000 and RM15,000, and they may be imprisoned for a maximum of one year.
"Falling asleep when driving will be considered reckless driving. It also includes all the dangerous driving that we see on the road every day, cutting people off here and there, as well as the way mat rempit ride their motorbikes dangerously with their feet flying all over the place," Wee said.
2. Driving under influence (DUI)
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will see first-time offenders sent to jail for two years, fined RM10,000 to RM30,000, and have their licence revoked for two years.
Repeat offenders will be sent to prison for five years, fined RM20,000 to RM50,000, and be stopped from driving for five years.
For those driving under the influence causing death, first-time offenders will be jailed between 10 and 15 years, fined RM50,000 to RM100,000, and stopped from driving for 10 years.
Repeat offenders can be jailed between 15 and 20 years, fined from RM100,000 to RM150,000, and face a minimum of 20 years of not getting behind the wheel.
The bill also expands the law to include punishments for causing lesser injuries as a result of drink-driving.
3. In charge of vehicle and under influence, but not driving
The bill also proposes to raise the punishment for those being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but not make imprisonment mandatory.
The first-time offender will have to pay between a fine of between RM1,000 and RM5,000, and possibly face imprisonment for a maximum of two years and licence disqualification of two years or more.
Meanwhile, repeat offenders will be fined between RM5,000 and RM10,000, be sent to jail for not more than five years, or have their licence revoked for five years or more.
"For this particular amendment about being in charge of a vehicle, it is for when you think you are being smart by parking your car by the roadside the moment you see a roadblock or quickly changing driver when you see policemen nearby," warned Wee.
"You will not be spared and will face the consequences as mentioned."
4. Refusing breath test and specimen analysis
People found suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs but refuse to cooperate with authorities to provide relevant samples for testing will also face harsher punishment.
First-time offenders will be jailed not more than two years, fined between RM10,000 and RM30,000, and be stopped from driving for two years.
Repeat offenders will be jailed less than five years, fined RM20,000 to RM50,000, and have their licence revoked for five years or more.
"You must cooperate when the authorities asked you to. The government will also change the prescribed limit of alcohol content in a body to match the World Health Organization's (WHO) standard," Wee said.
The prescribed limits for alcohol content will be lowered to:
- 22mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath (previously 35mcg),
- 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood (previously 80mg), and
- 67mg of alcohol in 100ml of urine (previously 107mg).
The ministry said they will be holding a nationwide tour to bring awareness and further explain the amendments to the public
"[We will] educate people on the dangers of driving recklessly or under the influence of alcohol and drugs," said Wee.
"We are also collaborating with Grab. Call Grab when you have drunk too much to avoid road accidents," the Transport Minister also advised.
"Remember, if you have drunk alcohol, do not drive and put others in danger. Get a designated driver."