The Vietnamese government has revised a decree and increased fines across the board for traffic violations, especially drunk driving, in yet another attempt to reduce the country's high numbers of road crashes and fatalities.
The updated decree, which will take effect this August, sets fines at up to VND18 million (US$803) for car drivers with blood alcohol content of over 80 mg per 100 milliliters, or breath alcohol content of 0.4 mg per liter. Currently, the violation is subjected to a fine from VND10-15 million.
Drivers who refuse to take an alcohol test will face the same penalty.
Fines of up to VND8 million will be imposed on those who drive recklessly or steer the wheel with their feet. These violators will be ordered to pay up to VND20 million if they cause an accident or refuse to pull over.
Drivers under the influence of drugs will have their license suspended for up to two years, in addition to a fine of up to VND18 million.
Motorbike drivers who use cell phones, audio devices or umbrellas will be fined VND200,000. The current fine is VND80,000.
According to the National Traffic Safety Committee, drunk driving has been increasing, with the number of alcohol-related cases accounting for 40 percent of total crashes.
Traffic deaths remain high in Vietnam killing an average of 24 people on a daily basis.
There have been 8,374 crashes so far this year in which 3,588 people died and 7,339 others were injured.