Police Officer Refuses to Take Breathalyzer Test 鳳山員警聚會返家拒酒測 罰18萬並扣車

A police officer surnamed Chien working at Kaohsiung City Police Department's Fengshan Precinct went drinking with friends on Dec. 13. He was pulled over for a Breathalyzer test on the way home. He refused to take it, and was fined NT$180,000 and had his vehicle confiscated. The precinct says the officer will receive a major demerit and be transferred.

A police officer surnamed Chien working at Kaohsiung City Police Department's Fengshan Precinct went drinking with friends on Dec. 13. Afterwards, he drove home. Along the way, he was pulled over to take a Breathalyzer test. He refused to be tested and was fined NT$180,000. His vehicle was also confiscated. His non-exemplary behavior as a law enforcement officer immediately made the news.

Chen Cheng-tzu, Chief Inspector, Inspection Section, Fengshan Precinct: “This precinct will give this officer one major demerit, adjust his service region, and advise him to retire early after assessing the driving safety issue.”

The police officer received a major demerit and will be transferred. Kaohsiung has seen several incidents of police officers engaging in drunk driving during the past two years. In September, a drunk police officer driving in reverse hit a traffic island and died. Taiwan has amended laws in recent years to increase penalties for drunk driving, and the number of accidents has declined. Statistics show that there were 6,154 DWI incidents between January and September this year. Although the number of incidents and injured people were fewer compared to the same period last year, the number of people killed increased by 28 to 233. 

Fu Hung-i, CEO, Taiwan Beverage Alcohol Forum: “Some people may consume food prepared with alcohol during meals or have a drink here and there. When they leave, they might not be aware that the alcohol they consumed has not yet been fully metabolized, so they may exceed limits when they're driving.”

Year-end parties are common, and the number of DWI incidents always rises during this time. At present, only passengers of vehicles with drunk drivers bear joint responsibility. One scholar says Taiwan can follow the example of Japan and hold the location and persons that provided the alcohol responsible.