KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — A total of 158 individuals were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in the capital city throughout January this year, said Kuala Lumpur Traffic and Investigation Department (JSPT KL) head ACP Zulkefly Yahya.
He said of the 158 individuals detained, 118 had been charged and 40 were still under investigation.
“Drunk driving often happens after midnight and the death toll due to alcohol intoxication last year was just one while in 2018 there were three cases,” he told Bernama in a special interview at the Traffic Police Station here recently.
In the meantime, Zulkefly suggested that entertainment outlet owners should have the Screening Device II (SDII) available, for customers to be aware of their alcohol levels in an effort to reduce cases involving drunk drivers.
“If a person’s alcohol content level exceeds the permitted level, the owner of the premises may take the initiative and advise them not to drive,” he added.
Zulkefly said the SDII equipment was already being used overseas and it was time for the entertainment premises in the country to adopt the same thing as precaution and safety measure.
Asked about the government’s proposal to amend existing laws on drunk driving, driving under the influence of drugs and reckless driving, Zulkefly said the police welcomed the proposal.
Currently, he said driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs resulting in injury or death is a serious offence under the Road Transport Act 1987 adding that offenders could be charged under Section 44 with a jail term of three to 10 years and a fine of between RM8, 000 and RM20,000.
On January 29, Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced that the government had agreed to amend the law to impose more severe penalties on persons driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs; as well as those driving dangerously and causing death.
Loke said his ministry would initiate discussions with stakeholders including the police, the attorney general and relevant agencies to enable the amendment to be brought to Parliament as early as July. — Bernama