The Government’s Decree 100/2019/ND-CP on road traffic violations officially took effect on January 01 aiming to discourage drunk driving.
Since then, there have been observed instances of more responsible drinking among citizens and people choosing to travel by Grab-bike, a popular “motorbike taxi” service, to avoid being fined.
However, policemen stationed near restaurants have fined of cases of driving under influence (DUI) in the first two days, with most violators travelling on their own motorbikes and a few by cars.
In Hanoi, a few large beer restaurants have somewhat less customers than usual, while small and medium-sized beer pubs still see the regular number of midday drinkers.
An owner of a hotpot place in Da Lat City, when asked about the new administrative sanctions for road and rail traffic offences, said he believed heavy fine would not affect restaurants’ business, and people’s drinking habit would change gradually for the better.
Since the Decree came into effect, several police divisions are still confused in imposing sanctions as the penalties in the new decree are higher than previous ones, but an updated record form has not been issued.
The Railway Traffic Police Office under Ho Chi Minh City Police said traffic police teams have been deployed as of the night of December 31, 2019 to implement the new decree. As of January 02, 2020, these teams have pulled over 264 drivers and sanctioned 136 violators, the majority of them were riding motorbikes.
Hanoi’s traffic police force also set up stations on January 02 to perform DUI tests on drivers with signs of alcohol consumption, many of whom were not aware of the new drinking bill.
One driver was found driving with an alcohol level of 0.489mg and was subsequently fined VND7 million (about US$302) and had his driving license revoked for 23 months.
Meanwhile, the first case of violation was reported during the evening of January 1 where a car driver in Hanoi was fined VND35 million (about US$1.5 million) and had his driving license revoked for 23 months for driving with an alcohol level of 0.719 milligrams per liter of air.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, Head of Traffic Police Department in Binh Thuan Province, from December 31, 2019, traffic police in the area have made attempts to increase awareness on the Law on Prevention and Control of Harms of Liquor and Beer Abuse and the Decree 100/2019/ND-CP.
Meanwhile, the Health Strategy Institute stated that liquor and beer are one of the top three causes of increased traffic accidents among men aged 15-49 in Vietnam. Each year, about 15,000 people die from traffic accidents, of which about 4,800 cases are related to alcohol.
According to the statistics of the World Health Organization, more than 36 percent men and nearly 1 percent women are involved in traffic accidents in Vietnam, and about 70 percent of criminal cases stem from the use of alcohol in the 30-year-old and below age group.