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June 3, 2011

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Cops take to Net in hunt for drunk driver

CITY police yesterday took to the Internet, using a microblog, in their hunt for a drunk driving suspect who rammed his car into a traffic police officer and an assistant, injuring them seriously, during a road check on Wednesday night.

The Songjiang District police posted a wanted circular on yesterday afternoon with information about the suspect Zhao Huiqiang, including his birthplace, home address and a head-shot. Police said they hope Zhao will turn himself in after seeing the post while welcoming tips from netizens for information about the whereabouts of the 27-year-old suspect from Jiangxi Province.

Traffic police officer Qian Yong and assistant Wang Rende were in stable condition in hospital after emergency treatment early yesterday morning.

The microblog containing the information of the wanted suspect had been tweeted more than 3,000 times by yesterday evening.

The incident happened about 8:45pm when Qian and Wang were checking vehicles for drunk drivers at the intersection of Yushu Road and Cangfeng Road, police said. Zhao was found to have blood-alcohol level of 115 milligrams per 100 milliliter against the standard of 80 milligrams per 100 milliliters and would have been detained for drunk driving, according to a recently amended law.

However, to avoid being caught, Zhao returned to his blue mini-bus, claiming he was getting his driving license, and suddenly started the car and rammed into Qian and Wang.

"We asked him to get off the car and he said he wanted to drink some water," Wang said yesterday. "And then the minibus started and we failed to stop it."

After driving to a nearby residential area, Zhao abandoned the mini-bus and fled the scene, police said.

The officer and the assistant suffered serious fractures and were still under observation at the Songjiang District Center Hospital yesterday.

Zhao had been detained in 2007 for illegal detention and the mini-bus, with a license plate from Jiangsu Province, was found to have altogether 18 traffic rule violation records, police said.


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