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Put Cork in Drinking and Driving

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Chinese police will launch a one-month crackdown against drunken driving on Monday to ensure safety on the roads during the coming Spring Festival holidays.

With people across the country increasing visits to friends and relatives ahead of and during the holidays - which officially start Feb 2 - drunken driving is also expected to increase, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Compared with similar national campaigns against drunken driving in the past two years, the coming campaign, which lasts until Feb 17, will focus not only on major cities but also small towns and rural areas, according to the ministry.

Under Chinese law, one becomes a drink driver if found to have 20 to 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; while anyone registering more than 80 mg per 100 ml is considered a drunken driver.

According to the ministry, police should confiscate the license of drink drivers for three months, while drunken drivers should be put into custody for 15 days and have their licenses confiscated for six months. Anyone found drunken driving twice in one year will have their licenses revoked and cannot apply for new ones for two years.

The ministry also asked police nationwide to pay special attention to important highways and examine passenger buses and trucks with dangerous chemicals to ensure holiday road safety.

Police should be deployed at key transportation locations, particularly places with a high risk of accidents, the ministry said in the statement.

The country's police have continued stringent anti-drunken driving measures for more than a year. Last year, police nationwide caught 526,000 drink and drunken drivers, compared to 313,000 for the entire year of 2009, according to the ministry.

As part of the country's efforts to make its roads safer, legislators earlier this year also drafted legislation to make driving under the influence of alcohol an independent charge.

(China Daily January 17, 2011)

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