Chinese police caught 15,000 drivers in the first week of a crackdown on drunk driving, a step to appease the public anger caused by a series of fatal accidents, state media said Sunday.
Drunk-driving cases are concentrated in the nation’s wealthy areas, with 3,075 reported in east China’s Zhejiang province and 1,542 in Shanghai, the Xinhua news agency said, citing the public security ministry.
According to the ministry, a drunk driver’s license will be suspended for three or six months and, in serious cases, the driver will be detained for 15 days. If a drunk driver is caught twice within one year, his or her license will be revoked for up to five years.
Despite the crackdown, drunk-driving cases have not decreased obviously. The two-month campaign began on August 15 in an effort to improve road safety before and during the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China in October.
It also follows public uproar after drunk driving resulted in several lethal accidents in recent months. Earlier this month, a drunk-driver in east China’s Hangzhou city killed a 16-year-old girl.
In a signal of a tougher approach, a court handed down a death sentence last month to a motorist who killed four people after drinking large quantities of a strong Chinese spirit.
China is becoming the world’s largest auto market, with more than 10 million vehicles sold annually. With a rapidly growing population of car drivers, the country’s road safety is a big concern.