Beijing lifts licenses of more than 1,300 drunk drivers

2008-05-29 09:14:55 GMT       2008-05-29 17:14:55 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Beijing officials on Thursday released a list of 1,366 people who had their licenses revoked for drunk driving.

The drivers were also banned from applying for licenses for at least two years.

Most of those caught driving under the influence could have gotten only a suspension had they faced the penalties, such as fines, in a timely way, said Wang Li, deputy director of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau.

"However, these people tried to avoid punishment by delaying the visit to traffic management authorities or even ignoring [the summons]," said Wang.

Beijing rules stipulate that drivers who've had anything to drink can't get behind the wheel. Those who flout the law could befined 500 yuan (72 U.S. dollars) to 1,800 yuan and their licenses could be suspended for some period. The punishment depends on how intoxicated they are.

The city stepped up measures against road violations last year, sending 1,061 drunk drivers and 3,751 people who drove without a license into administrative custody. More than 12,500 drivers were penalized for merely drinking alcohol.

Strict punishment for drunk drivers was the main contributor to a fall in road deaths, Beijing officials said, noting that 94 fewer deaths due to drunk driving were counted in 2007 than in 2006.

Traffic accidents killed 1,182 people in Beijing last year, 191 fewer than the previous year.

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