Public servants found drunk-driving will face the most severe form of administrative punishment, such as dismissal from their posts, Premier Jiang Yi-huah said in the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday.
Jiang expressed concern yesterday about public servants drinking and driving, saying that public servants should set a good public example. He instructed different departments of the government to make strict demands on their personnel, and exert a harsh punishment on those who violate the law.
The Directorate-General of Personnel Administration said that if found to be driving under the influence public servants will face the same charges as the general public as well as specific administrative punishments. Government employees may be discharged from their position as the most severe punishment.
Since the government began an intensive enforcement of drunk-driving, many public servants have been found breaking the law. Jiang said in the meeting yesterday that when public servants drive drunk, they not only injure people but also damage the government's image. He stressed that drunk driving is not acceptable behaviour for public servants.
Nationwide Implementation of the Law
Jiang has instructed that the new regulations regarding drunk-driving be communicated staff across departments, including the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Transportation.
The head of the Ministry of Civil Service, Huang Fu-yuan said the ministry will soon send formal documents to different departments nationwide to inform them of the new law. He said agents from different departments will be summoned to a meeting to study relevant regulations in detail and decide on the type of punishment for violators. Huang warned that the punishment will be harsh in order to deter drunk driving.
According to the Civil Service Performance Evaluation Act, two serious demerits can be recorded as the most severe of punishments, which in effect equates to dismissal from the post. Other punishments include demotion and salary reduction.
The Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission Chief Commissioner Hsieh Wen-ting also confirmed that if public servants are sentenced to imprisonment for drunk driving, government authorities are allowed to discharge violators from their posts immediately. The commission has begun setting new regulations that exert a harsher punishment.
Forced Alcohol Test Not Unlawful: MOJ
After the police started carrying out a tougher enforcement of drunk driving, some have questioned whether forced blood alcohol testing violates human rights. The nation's first ever forced DUI test was conducted two days ago after driver refused to take a breathalyzer test.
Deputy Justice Minister Chen Ming-tang said yesterday that the arrest process in these situations follows a rigorous procedure, and are not made recklessly.
Arrests will not be made solely because a driver refuses to take a breathalyzer test, Chen said, noting that police must obtain approval from prosecutors for a blood test in order to assure that each case is constitutional.