Don’t drink and drive.
This reigning message has been drilled into Singaporeans, but do we genuinely understand the significance of this single phrase?
In case we didn’t, things are about to get serious.
In Taiwan, at least.
For all of its food haven, Taiwan has strict laws that can compete with Singapore’s — and it’s about to get worse.
So if anyone is deciding to drown themselves in food and alcohol when in Taiwan, just take note to stay at least a million miles away from driving.
Why? Oh, no particular reason, except that you may be gifted a death sentence.
I’m exaggerating the circumstance, but what holds true is the fact that Taiwan’s Cabinet has recently approved an amendment to consider fatal accidents caused by drunk driving as murder.
Their punishment for murder? Death.
To put the gravity of this new law into perspective, their previous sentence for drunk driving related murder is up to 10 years in jail.
So you go from losing 10 years of your life to your life altogether, which is an incredible leap.
It’s Not Approved Yet
Taiwan has also never been big on reinforcing capital punishments; in fact, they pale in comparison to Singapore. While they’ve had a total of one execution in 2018, Singapore had a death toll of thirteen in the same year.
For a country who executes only a small number of people every year, this new amendment practically screams that they don’t just disapprove drunk driving — they condemn it.
Even though the law has yet to be officially passed since it has not been approved by Parliament, it is a silent vow to crack down on drunk driving that speaks volumes.
Drink Driving in S’pore
But being Singaporeans, we are probably more concerned about how we will get affected.
To be fair, Singapore’s laws on drunk driving are considerably more lenient than Taiwan’s current ones. In fact, it would make us silently thank the government.
The maximum years of jail sentence are three years — and that is for repeat offenders. Add accidental murder into the (alcohol) mix, and convicts get up to six strokes of the cane.
So we won’t die, but we will suffer enough to make us wish we did. But the bottom line remains that we can take all the time to heal, and we won’t be dead.
We are slightly but definitely better off with our current laws, but who is to say that the Singaporean government will not decide to follow in Taiwan’s footsteps?
Just Don’t Drink and Drive
That’s the whole point of (true) friends — we burden them into bringing us home despite their protests, simply because we can. If anyone carries the Forever Alone title, they should make at least one friend for the same purpose.
Remember kids, don’t drink and drive.
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