The website Jalopnik, a site devoted to all things automotive, recently published an interesting info-graphic that showed a map of the world overlaid with the different blood alcohol levels that are allowed before a motorist will be arrested and charged with drunk driving. The rainbow of colors is surprising, especially seeing how shockingly low some countries have set their legal drinking limits.
Beyond the surprise about global DUI levels, the chart also contained a snapshot of some of the more unusual punishments handed out to drunk drivers in countries around the world. Some of them were so interesting that they deserve to be noted, with Minnesotans crossing their fingers that our legislators don’t get any bright ideas.
One notable drunk driving punishment comes from Malaysia, where the law says that not only do drunk drivers face jail time (something that dunk drivers in Minnesota also might have to contend with), but the punishment goes a step farther and can even impact your spouse’s freedom. The law says that regardless of whether your spouse was present at the time of the arrest, he or she may be arrested in connection with your drunk driving charges, an attempt to drive home the message that drunk driving is unacceptable and can impact others.
In Australia, Jalopnik writes that drunk drivers who have been convicted have their names sent to local newspapers, which then appear under the heading “He/She Is Drunk and In Jail.” Talk about using public shaming as a law enforcement tactic. In Singapore, law enforcement officials appear to rely on harsh fines and jail time rather than public embarrassment. Singapore law says that even first time drunk drivers face fine of up to $5,000 or six months behind bars. For repeat offenders, the fines and jail time can be increased by up to 500 percent.
In Turkey, the police take a very harsh view of alcohol-related offenses. By way of evidence, Turkish drunk drivers in some small towns are taken 20 miles outside of their city and are then made to walk back to the police station. The recently arrested are not left alone, but instead followed by a police escort the entire way. In Saudi Arabia, the punishment is even more serve since the government prohibits the consumption of alcohol. As a result, a DUI charge can involve fines, long-term imprisonment and even public flogging.
Thankfully Minnesota DWI law does not allow for flogging, but that does not mean the penalties are insignificant for those caught driving drunk. Minnesota law says that first time DWI offenders face misdemeanor charges and could receive up to 90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine. Beyond these penalties, drivers face the loss of a driver’s license for between 30 and 90 days, court costs and skyrocketing car insurance rates.
Source: “This Map Will Show You Drunk Driving Limits All Over The World,” by Jason Torchinksky, published at Jalopnik.com.