Vietnam officials drink on duty, cause fatal accident in Da Lat

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The car of Mai Nam Duong, deputy director of Lam Dong Agriculture and Rural Development, being removed out of the accident scene

One official in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong is likely to be jailed and another faces disciplinary measures for violating a law that prohibits public servants from drinking during working hours.

Mai Nam Duong, deputy director of the provincial agriculture department, caused a serious accident in the famous resort town of Da Lat in which one motorcyclist was killed and three others injured.

Trinh Quang Ung, director of the Irrigation Center under the province's Agriculture and Rural Development Department, will be rebuked publicly, said Pham Van Vuong of the Lam Dong Party Unit.

Ung was drinking on the afternoon of May 22 with Duong and an unidentified director of a company in Ba Ria Vung Tau Province. Later, at around 3:20 pm, Duong drove his car and hit three motobikes on Tran Phu Street before hitting a roadside tree and his car turned over.

Truong Van Hien, 48, was killed on the spot while three others -  Nguyen Thi Hanh Nguyen, 39, Pham Thi Dan Thanh, 34, and Nguyen Van Minh, 29, were seriously injured.

A test found Duong's breath containing 0.6 milligrams of alcohol per liter.

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Da Lat police will press charges against Duong for violating the Traffic Law. If convicted, he can be jailed to between three and ten years for the crime of causing a fatal accident when drunk.

Duong was expected to retire in the next several months on reaching 60. 

In a country where Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc  said 30 percent of around 2.8 million public servants do not bring "any efficiency to their job, since last year many provinces across Vietnam have issued a ban on civil servants from drinking during lunch on working days.

In January this year, Deputy PM Phuc asked all the 63 provinces in the country to enforce the ban on public officials drinking during working hours.

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