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Penalties for drink driving in Singapore



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Motorists in Singapore caught drink driving are being given stiffer jail sentences and increased fines and penalties.

DrInk drivers are one of the “biggest contributors” to serious accidents on Singapore’s roads. Therefore, harsher penalties have been imposed on those who drive under the influence of drink or drugs.

On average, one person a month dies on our roads as a result of drink driving. Most accidents happen as drink drivers run red lights and exceed speed limits. 

Penalties for drink driving

Given the horrendous consequences that could result from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, public education is ongoing to eradicate this behaviour.

Stiff penalties are also in place to deter the habit.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Singapore will warrant;

  •  a maximum of one year imprisonment
  • a fine of up to S$10,000, or both, for first-time offenders.
  • and a ban from driving for at least two years.

For the second offence, they will face;

  •  up to two years in jail.
  • and be fined up to $20,000.
  •  as well as face a ban from driving for at least five years.

If the driver gets into an accident, the penalties for a drink driving offence are heavier, especially if anyone is harmed, with steeper fines, longer disqualifications and longer jail terms.

 

Dangerous or Careless Driving whilst ‘Driving Under the Influence’ (DUI)

A first-time offender charged with dangerous or careless driving causing death or grievous harm will be liable for up to eight years in jail. He will also be disqualified from driving for at least eight years.

If a dangerous or careless driving offence was committed while the motorist was driving under the influence (“DUI”) of alcohol or drugs, they will be liable for additional penalties, which will run consecutively.

For instance, a first-time offender who causes death or grievous hurt by dangerous driving, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, will face an extra maximum jail term of two years, and another minimum disqualification period of two years. That can total up to 10 years in prison and 10 years disqualification from driving. Repeat offenders will be given double the sentence and double the disqualification.

Find out more about dangerous and careless driving.

Enhanced Penalties under Road Traffice Act

Offences

Maximum Imprisonment Term

Disqualification from Driving

Add-On Penalties for Dangerous and Careless Driving Offences, should the motorist have committed them while Under the influence of Alcohol & Drugs

Maximum imprisonment Term

Disqualification from Driving

Dangerous Driving

Up to 8 years for first offence

Minimum sentence of at least 1 year, if death or grievous hurt is caused

Sentece doubled for repeat offenders.

Yes, Courts can impose DQ Minimum period of 8 years, if death or grievous hurt is caused

Up to 2 additional years for first offence

Minimum additional sentence of at least 1 year, if death or grievous hurt is caused

Additional sentence is doubled, for repeat offenders

Minimum additional period of at least 2 years for first offence

Additional period is doubled, for repeat offenders

Careless Driving

Up to 3 years for first offence

Sentence doubled, for repeat offenders

Yes, Courts can impose DQ

Up to 2 additional years for first offence

Additional sentence doubled, for repeat offenders

Minimum additional period of at least 2 years for first offence

Additional period is doubled, for repeat offenders

Drink drivers will be kept off the roads for a longer period. Here’s how:

Licence suspended

You will have your licence immediately suspended if caught Driving Under the Influence (DUI). This will prevent irresponsible motorists from being able to still drive right up until the courts have decided on their case. 

 

Car forfeited

Your vehicle will be forfeited for a select group of offences such as egregious Irresponsible Driving offences. Examples of egregious driving include drink driving.

 

Disqualified or banned from driving

The minimum disqualification period for the offence of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is two years.

 

Drink driving and your car insurance 

As drink driving is illegal, most insurers will not pay for damages, injuries or loss resulting from such accidents no matter what type of car insurance you have, including comprehensive car insurance. So aside from being illegal, offenders also risk having to pay out tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, vehicle damages and medical expenses.

 

Alternatives to driving after a drink

Using a ride-hailing app such as Grab or calling a cab is an easy solution. Nine times out of 10 it’s possible to hitch a ride within minutes from anywhere in Singapore.

 

What is drink driving?

Under section 67 of the Road Traffic Act (RTA), you are guilty of drink driving if you:

  • are unfit to drive under the influence of alcohol to the extent that you are incapable of having proper control of your vehicle, even if you are under the legal limit.
  • exceed the prescribed alcohol limit.

The prescribed alcohol limit is:

  • 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 ml of breath
  • 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood (blood alcohol content BAC)

Factors like your sex, weight, metabolism and how much you’ve eaten all contribute to how your body processes alcohol. But generally, as a rule of thumb, two very small glasses of wine would be enough to put you over the limit. Experts advise, however, that no amount of alcohol is safe and that motorists should not drink at all when driving.

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