CHINA> Regional
Beijing gets tougher on drunk driving
Updated: 2009-09-23 13:41

BEIJING: Beijing municipal traffic management authorities say they are to further increase road inspections to root out driving under the influence (DUI) offences around October 1, the start of the National Day holiday season.

Beginning Wednesday, all important thoroughfares and ring roads, as well as major dining and entertainment districts in the city will be monitored around the clock, says a spokesman for the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau.

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In addition to regular middle of the day and night-time inspections, traffic police are also to carry out a greater number of spot checks at irregular times so that law-breaking drivers could not easily figure ways to avoid the possibility of being stopped, he said.

There will be a great number of people attending different kinds of gatherings and visiting friends and relatives as the National Day holiday season nears, said the spokesman,"DUI cases will peak too."

The spokesman warned that government employees who were caught drunk driving would face publicity in the local media as well as conventional penalties such as fines and detention.

China's population, which has a large percentage of alcohol consumers, is rapidly becoming more mobile, putting greater strain on controlling drunk driving. In Beijing, a city of more than 15 million people, motor vehicles exceed 3.85 million.

In mid August, Chinese police launched a two-month nationwide crackdown against DUI following a series of shocking cases in which drunk drivers killed pedestrians.

This year's National Day holiday season, which starts on October 1, includes the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the  mooncake festival, which falls on October 3. The holiday season will last eight days, the longest ever.