GUANGZHOU: A local Party discipline inspection official, who is responsible for punishing civil servants who drive drunk, has been detained for 15 days after being caught driving drunk himself.
Liang Huiming, secretary of the Party disciplinary inspection commission in Lanhe township, under Guangzhou's Panyu district, Guangdong province, is given a test to see how much alcohol is in his system after he was caught driving after allegedly drinking alcohol. The official is responsible for punishing officials who are caught drunk drinking. [Yancheng Evening News]
Local police said on Friday that Liang Huiming, chief of the discipline inspection commission of Lanhe township under Guangzhou's Panyu district, was detained as a part of a nationwide campaign against drunken driving.
Liang was stopped by traffic police on Wednesday night for alcohol testing on his way home after drinking.
He reportedly made several calls to friends and colleagues for help, trying to escape from the test by showing his work certificate, which identifies his position.
"He confessed to drunk driving, but he appeared to try to use his power to avoid the testing," said a traffic police officer who declined to be named.
After refusing the alcohol test, Liang was forced by police to go to a local hospital for a blood test, which showed his blood alcohol concentration reached more than 80 mg per 100 ml, police said.
A person is considered drunk if the alcohol content is above 80 mg per 100 ml of blood.
"He repeatedly pleaded for a lenient punishment. But we will not allow any government official involved in drunk driving to be free (of alcohol testing and punishment)," the officer said.
Liang, who took his current position in 2006, was later sent to the local detention house on Thursday.
According to the Ministry of Public Security, when a drunken driver is caught, his or her license will be suspended for three to six months. In serious cases, the driver would be detained for 15 days.
A total of 11,696 Chinese drivers had been caught driving after drinking since the ministry launched a two-month nationwide campaign against drunken driving on Aug 15.
A "startling" 14 percent of drivers had blood alcohol concentrations of more than 80 mg per 100 ml when stopped by the police, ministry officials said.
After being exposed, Liang asked for forgiveness from his family members and colleagues, the Yangcheng Evening News reported on Friday.
"I thought police would let me free after I showed my work certificate. But now I know I really did wrong. It is a tough lesson for me," he was quoted as saying.
As of Wednesday, police in Guangzhou had caught 103 people who drove under the influence of alcohol since the local police authority launched a two-month campaign on Aug 15.
Following Liang's case, local citizens are calling for more exposure of government officials who drive drunk.
"I am wondering if Liang would have been given a lenient punishment if he had not been exposed by the media, given his position in government," said Wu Shengpin, a local IT worker.