Taiwan Traffic regulations ( DUI Laws) state that drivers must not drive when their breath alcohol level exceeds 0.25 mg/l. A driver who violates this regulation will receive a fine from the DMV of between NT$15000-60000, and will have his/her license suspended for one year. The driving ban takes immediate effect. Further, if the driver's alcohol level exceeds 0.55 mg/l, in addition to the find and driving ban, he/she will also be charged by the local prosecutor's office with violating public order, a charge which could lead to a jail stentence. Such cases will be dealt with in one of the following ways:
1. where appropriate, the prosecutor may decide to dismiss the public violation charge. This is very rare and at the discretion of the prosecutor, but may happen in the following circumstances:
(1) the driver did not injure anoter party and can prove that his/her contribution to society, for example, he/she is charity worker and has no criminal record; 'balances' the negative behavior.
(2) the driver did not injure another party, but was himself/herself seriously injured.
It should be stressed again that dismissal is extremely rare.
2. the prosecutor may decide to defer the case for one to three years, if the driver offers to make a donation to an NGO, carries out 40 to 250 hours of social work, or a third party has been injured but the compensation deal has already be settled. However, the following points should be noted:
(1) the donation is made to an NGO and cannot be deducted from the DMV fine.
(2) a deferral amounts to pretrial probation. If the driver commits any further crime during the probation period, the deferral order may be revoked and the case charged as normal.
3. the prosecutor may decide to prosecte the case. This could be for the following reasons:
(1) the driver fails to appear for interview (pretrial hearing) without reasonable explanation.
(2) the alcohol level is too high for the charge to be dropped (nolle ) or deferred.
(3) a third party has been injured, and no compensation deal has been settled.
If a DUI case is prosecuted, the following outcomes are possible:
1. a verdict of not guilty-extremely rare.
2. a verdict of guilty with a sentence as follows:
(1) a fine.
(2) detention of 1 to 59 days-- the imprisonment might be converted into a fine.
(3) penal servitude of 2 to 12 months--the imprisonment might be converted into a fine, only if he/she get a under 6 months jail period.
Naturally, the disadvantage of being sentenced is that the defendant not only has a criminal record, but also takes the risk of being sent to jail. Therefore, dirvers are strongly urged to show up for their interview or pretrial hearing. See 3.(1) above.
WanLi Yang 2007/10/11 Taiwan