Drink Driving Singapore (Section 67 Road Traffic Act)
Harsher Punishments for Drink Driving Offences
The rise in the number of drink driving cases over the years has led Singapore to impose considerably harsher punishments for drivers who are caught drink driving. This is because drink driving not only endangers the driver’s life but also the lives of different road users.
Law on Drink Driving
It is an offence under Section 67 of the Road Traffic Act (“RTA”) if you:
- are unfit to drive because you are intoxicated to the extent you are incapable of having proper control of the vehicle; or
- your blood or breath alcohol level exceeds the legal limit (36mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, or 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood).
Police officers can require you to take a breathalyzer test. If you fail to comply, you can be arrested immediately as a warrant of arrest is not required.
In addition, you can be punished with a fine of S$1,000 – S$5,000 or up to 6 months’ jail. For repeated offenders, they can face an increased fine of S$3,000 – S$10,000 or up to 12 months’ imprisonment.
Consequences for Drink Driving
The table below shows the punishment prescribed under the drink driving offence.
|First conviction||Fine: $2,000 – $10,000
Imprisonment: up to 1 year
Disqualification period: at least 2 years
|Subsequent conviction||Fine: $5,000 – $20,000
Imprisonment: up to 2 years
Disqualification period: at least 5 years
To determine the culpability of the offender, the court will consider the blood or breath alcohol level in the offender’s body. The culpability level is as set out in the table:
|Low||Low alcohol level (35 – 54 microgrammes per 100ml of breath) and no evidence of dangerous driving behaviour|
|Medium||Moderate to high alcohol level (55 – 69 microgrammes per 100ml of breath) or dangerous driving behaviour|
|High||High alcohol level (>70 microgrammes per 100ml of breath) and dangerous driving behaviour|
Degree of harm
A tougher sentencing (increase in fine, imprisonment term and/or period of disqualification) may generally be imposed when physical injury or property damage has been caused. The categories of harm as classified:
|Slight||Characterised by no hospitalisation or medical leave;|
|Moderate||Characterised by hospitalisation or medical leave but no fractures or permanent injuries;|
|Serious||Generally involves fractures, including injuries which are permanent in nature and/or which require significant surgical procedures;|
|Very Serious||Loss of limb, sight or hearing or life; or paralysis.|
Even where no personal injury or property damage has been caused as a result of the offence, an offender can still be liable to a fine and disqualification from holding all driving licences.
Read more: Harsher penalties for drink drivers (TODAYonline)
Consult a lawyer today
If you are facing a drink driving charge, our team at Populus Law Corporation can help you. For more information on how we can assist you, call us today at +65 9008 3740 or click here to send us an enquiry.