Any driver of any public or private vehicles caught driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, including kava will be penalized and be given a spot fine of Vt500, 000.
Minister of Internal Affairs, Andrew Napuat, who is also responsible for transport signed the penalty order yesterday afternoon and announced that it is effective.
Elaborating on the new order, Minister Napuat said one of the main reasons behind imposing such a heavy fine is to make drivers think twice before driving when they consume alcohol or kava.
“Despite repeated awareness activities not to drive under the influence of alcohol, we continue to receive reports and witness accidents, he said.
"Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a major contributing factor to road accidents and deaths. Passengers and pedestrians become victims of these drivers’ actions.”
Police and Public Land Transport Authority are urged to work together and enforce the new order. The Public Land and Transport Act is also giving the rights to members of the public to report any individual who is driving under the influence of alcohol. Public are encouraged to note down important details such as the vehicle’s registration number and name driver and report to the office of the Land Transport Authority.
Drivers who are caught in the act but are not able to pay up fine on the spot could face other disciplinary measures such as have their driver’s license confiscated or have their vehicle detained and returned only after their fines are paid.
Minister Napuat also clarified that drivers caught in the act are automatically implicated in offences under the Traffic Act. “They will continue to be charged and follow the procedures until they are prosecuted in court. Paying the Vt500, 000 fine is another thing which they have to comply with.”
In related news, Napuat said authorities are working to hard to ensure all processes followed, technicalities are met and laws are amended to finally allow the use of breathalyzers in the country.