The law on drink driving in Singapore
While the number of drink driving accidents over the past five years has remained relatively stable, a recent lorry accident where two men died has cast a spotlight on the issue.
The lorry driver was arrested for drink driving on Aug 5.
How much alcohol can you drink before exceeding the legal limit and is it considered drink driving if you lose control of your vehicle despite being under the limit?
Q: What is the legal alcohol limit for driving in Singapore?
A: The legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath or 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100ml of blood. How much you can drink to stay under these limits depends on many factors, including weight, age and gender.
Q: What constitutes a drink driving offence?
A: Under the Road Traffic Act, you can be found guilty of drink driving if you exceed the legal alcohol limit, or you are found unfit to drive due to intoxication that makes you incapable of controlling a vehicle properly.
Q: What are the maximum penalties for a drink driving offence?
A: If you are convicted of drink driving, you can be fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to a year for the first offence.
Repeat offenders can be fined up to $20,000 and jailed for up to two years.
Offenders will also be banned from driving for at least two years, or at least five years for repeat offenders.
The period of disqualification from driving may be longer if the accused is also convicted of dangerous or careless driving.
Q: Can a motorist who loses control of a vehicle be arrested for drink driving even though his blood alcohol level is under the legal limit at the time?
A: Yes. He can be charged as long as he is deemed incapable of properly controlling the vehicle after consuming alcohol.
- Source: Ms Lolita Andrew, senior associate at I.R.B. Law; Singapore Legal Advice website