UPDATE: On top of the longer jail term, a proposed fine of up to RM100,000 was announced by the Government on Feb 15.
PUTRAJAYA: Reckless and intoxicated drivers could face up to 20 years in jail once amendments are made to the Road Transport Act, says Datuk Liew Vui Keong.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said this was among the things that the government was looking into, with the Act being reviewed to introduce harsher punishments.
“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.
“Among the considerations is to raise the jail terms to 20 years.
“As the Act is under the Transport Ministry, they are being tasked to formulate the amendments and conduct the necessary studies.
“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, ” said Liew at a press conference here, after his yearly address at the Legal Affairs Division on Thursday.
Under existing laws, those found driving intoxicated beyond the permissible amount can be jailed between three and 10 years and fined up to RM20,000.
The government is looking into reviewing the prescribed limit of alcohol content in the driver’s blood. Currently, the permissible level is up to 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.
The international limit set by the World Health Organisation is 50mg in 100ml of blood.
Under Section 41 of the Road Transport Act, those who found guilty for reckless driving and causing death can be jailed up to 10 years and fined a maximum of RM20,000.
They will also be banned from driving for at least three years.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke recently said the amendments to the Act could be tabled in Parliament as early as the second sitting, which is scheduled to be held in June.