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Vietnam PM agrees to put aside confiscation of vehicles from drunk drivers

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has agreed to a Ministry of Transport suggestion that the proposed confiscation of vehicles from drunk drivers should be left aside, pending more explanations to create consensus among the public, according to the Government Office.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has agreed to a Ministry of Transport suggestion that the proposed confiscation of vehicles from drunk drivers should be left aside, pending more explanations to create consensus among the public, according to the Government Office.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has agreed to a Ministry of Transport suggestion that the proposed confiscation of vehicles from drunk drivers should be left aside, pending more explanations to create consensus among the public, according to the Government Office.

In its notice released on April 1, the office said that the transport ministry has submitted to the government a report on the National Traffic Safety Committee’s proposition – put forward on February 27 – on taking vehicles away from drunk drivers in order to improve road safety and alleviate traffic accidents.

In the report, the ministry said this proposal is based on such legal foundations as Article 14 of the 2013 Constitution and the Law on Handling Administrative Violations.

The governmental agency added that heavier sanctions should be enforced against drunk drivers to ensure traffic safety.

But the ministry has changed its mind and suggested not applying the confiscation punishment at the moment, the Government Office said in its notice.

The ministry needs more time to provide more explanations on this issue for members of the public to secure their approval, the office quoted the agency as saying.

In early March, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc assigned the ministry to coordinate with the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice to review the proposed vehicle confiscation and submit their opinions to the government before the end of the month.

Meanwhile, the National Traffic Safety Committee wanted the government to approve its proposal as a new move to improve road safety and lower the number of traffic accidents.

According to the proposal, automobile drivers with alcohol levels of over 0.4 mg per liter of breath or over 80 mg per 100 ml of blood will have the vehicles they have driven confiscated – not merely impounded as under current regulations – and they must take an exam on road traffic rules if they want to get a driver’s license again.

Similarly, motorbike drivers with alcohol levels of over 80 mg per 100 ml of blood or over 0.4 mg per liter of breath will have the vehicles they are driving confiscated – not merely impounded as under current regulations.

In addition, these drivers will have their driver’s license revoked for 24 months and they will have to take the said traffic rule exam.

On March 27, the Ministry of Public Security sent a document to the Ministry of Transport, suggesting that the latter carefully weigh up this proposal as it may give rise to many social issues and conflict with some other laws.

The proposed vehicle confiscation is a complicated issue as it is related to property ownership provided for in the 2013 Constitution, the Civil Code, and some other laws, the Ministry of Public Security said in the document.

If drunk drivers are not the owners of the vehicles they are riding or if the vehicles are a common property, then their confiscation will go against the Civil Code, the document said.

In addition, a car or a motorbike can be a means for many people to make a living or a valuable property of a family, so when it is confiscated, the life of their owners will be seriously affected.

Therefore, drunk drivers will try every way, even resistance to law enforcement officers, to prevent their property from being confiscated, according to the document.