Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the major causes of traffic accidents in Taiwan. About 5% of injuries involve DUI, and nearly 20% of traffic deaths are due to alcohol-related crashes. During early 2006 to the end of 2014, the authorities in Taiwan increased the severity of fine and jail penalties for DUI offenders three times. A study examined the effects of sanction changes on the reduction of drunk-driving casualties during this period.
The researchers found that drink-driving injuries and deaths significantly dropped after the statutory changes. The monthly drunk-driving injures decreased nearly 40% and the monthly alcohol-related traffic death dropped more than 80%. The reduction was immediate following all sanction changes that raised the maximum fines or jail terms of DUI offenders. Policies that increased the maximum jail terms of DUI offenders seem to have a better gradual effect on the reduction of alcohol-related traffic casualties.
Although increased sanctions are found to be effective in reducing drunk-driving casualties, the researchers suggest that future research is needed to examine the policy-to-perception and the policy-to-behaviour links.
Source: Sanction changes and drunk-driving injuries/deaths in Taiwan Chan YS; Chen CS; Huang L; Peng YI Accident Analysis and Prevention Vol 107, 2017, pp102-109.