Better Understanding DUI Penalties in Malaysia
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a huge problem for the people of Malaysia, an issue that is considered by governmental and police department officials to be the leading contributor to road trauma and road fatality issues (followed closely by distracted driving and speeding).
Driving while under the influence in Malaysia is such a big problem that it is responsible for just over 23% of all fatal accidents on Malaysian roadways. Worse, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research discovered in 2012 that individuals that had consumed any amount of alcohol – intoxicated or not – were 13 times more likely to cause a motor vehicle accident on Malaysia roadways and were even more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident with injuries or fatalities reported at the scene.
In an effort to radically reduce the amount of drunk driving issues that have plagued Malaysia for so long a number of new initiatives and laws, according to San Diego Criminal Lawyer, have been put forward to strengthen the penalties that those charged, rested, and convicted of a DUI will have to face.
For starters, every state in Malaysia has lowered the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) threshold that legally dictates whether or not an individual is intoxicated. It now sits at 0.08, and any reading above that threshold is going to immediately result in some very serious penalties.
Secondly, every state in Malaysia has also made it a serious legal offense or any individual to refuse to take a breathalyzer test, a field sobriety test, or any other legally administered examination to determine whether or not a driver is operating their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In some states flat-out refusing to take these kinds of tests triggers penalties that are worse than actually failing the test to begin with.
Anyone found to have been operating a vehicle while over the legal BAC limits are going to have to pay fines of at least RM 8000 (though these fines can go all the way up to RM 20,000 depending on the specific situation).
On top of that, individuals that are convicted for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Malaysia face imprisonment of at least three years (and sometimes considerably more than that).
Additional amendments to The Road Transportation Act of 1987 allow punishments to be assessed to drivers that violate Section 43 of this same piece of legislation. The new changes and amendments to this legislation fall under Section 44 of The Road Transportation Act of 1987 and are worded in such a way that it’s possible for drivers to face significant punishments and fines even if they aren’t technically intoxicated when they are caught driving under the influence.
At the end of the day, the government of Malaysia is very clear in their feelings towards individuals that choose to drive after they have consumed drugs or alcohol. They are looking to crack down on this dangerous behavior with very stiff penalties and it’s always best to avoid driving if you’ve consumed ANY drugs or alcohol rather than face potential life-changing punishments going forward.