In the middle of a pandemic, it seems that Malaysia is also battling a plague of drunk driving accidents that seems to have suddenly taken the nation by storm. On 3rd May, a police officer who was manning a roadblock in Kajang was killed after a drunk driver lost control of the car and crashed into him. There was also another case where a drunk man rammed his pick-up truck into several people at a hawker site in Rawang on 22nd May.
THREE cases in ONE week
However, what’s really shocking is the three tragic cases of drunk driving that happened within just one week! It is infuriating that all three of the victims (all deceased) were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The first case happened on 25th May when a drunk man in Kuantan drove against traffic and crashed into the victim. It is said that the victim was on his way to work when the accident happened.
The next case happened on 29th May. A courier company worker passed away and his colleague sustained serious injuries after a 22-year-old student lost control of his car and crashed into their motorcycle. It is said that the deceased had just joined the company three days prior.
The latest case was reported just this morning (1st June). A FoodPanda rider was on his way home after delivering his wife’s homecooked food to their customers when he was rammed from behind by a 21-year-old drunk driver.
According to PDRM statistics, there has been a total of 21 cases and counting of drunk driving incidents in the first five months of 2020.
Enraged, netizens have shared their thoughts on this and are asking for the government to give heavier sentences for drunk driving incidents. Some even said that it should be “an eye for an eye” referring to the death sentence.
One netizen has brought up that maybe these people have been deprived of alcohol because of the MCO, so they go ham and drink without thinking of the consequences.
Other netizens say that those drunk drivers shouldn’t have driven in the first place. It’s a universal rule that if you’re planning to get drunk, you should always have a sober driver or just get a taxi or Grab. It’s not even that hard!
Multiple parties urge for heavier sentences
According to the law, a person driving under alcohol influence can be charged based on Section 45A (1) Road Transportation Act 1987 (fine RM1,000 to RM6,000/jail time not exceeding 12 months). Lawyers have spoken up and said that the jail time should definitely be increased to 3-10 years in jail and a fine of RM8,000- RM20,000. Wrong-doers should also get their driving licenses revoked for life.
The Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) has urged the government to amend the laws for driving under the influence as soon as possible to prevent these cases from happening again.
In response to that, PM Muhyiddin Yassin has said that he has ordered the Ministry of Transportation to amend and stricken the laws. He adds that the draft will be finalised mid-June and will be brought up in Dewan Rakyat soon. In addition to that, he hopes that by amending Act 333 of the Road Transport Act 1987, family members of drunk driving victims will be more at peace.
The Ministry of Health has released statistics concerning drunk driving:
“One out of ten Malaysians drink alcoholic drinks, (11.8% of the population).
One of two alcohol drinkers will binge drink until they’re drunk.
One of ten alcohol drinkers will binge drink until they’re drunk at least once a week.”
These innocent people have died just because of someone’s risky lifestyle choice. We surely hope that heavier punishments will be given to deter people from driving under the influence. Drinking alcohol is fun and fine but it’s not fine when someone else gets affected because of the choices you make.
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