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September 21, 2009

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Drunk driver held after smash

A DRUNK driver has been detained for hitting two people riding electric bicycles in Shanghai's Minhang District on Saturday night.
One of the two victims is in the intensive care unit of Shanghai No.5 People's Hospital on a life-support system yesterday. Doctors said Xu Jing, 21, from eastern China's Shandong Province, had "no chance of survival."
Xu and her male colleague were riding their bikes on Fanghe Road when a car lost control on the opposite side of the road and hit them after smashing through the barrier separating driving lanes.
The two were immediately knocked unconscious, but Xu's colleague only suffered minor injuries and was later discharged from hospital.
The driver had 2.03 milligrams of alcohol per milliliter of blood, far beyond the upper limit of 0.8mg that defines drivers under the influence.
The accident happened just as Shanghai police warned drunk drivers to expect maximum penalties.
Officers said offending drivers could be charged with the crime of "endangering public security by dangerous means" if they were involved in any fatal collisions.
In Chengdu, in China's southwest Sichuan Province, Sun Weiming, who killed four people and injured another while driving drunk last December, will serve a life term in prison after a successful appeal against a death sentence on September 8.
As part of a nationwide crackdown on drunk driving, Shanghai police launched road blitzes last month.
So far about 200 people have been detained for drunk driving. Police said the situation was improving.
Under traffic laws, drivers with a blood alcohol level between 0.2mg and 0.8mg per milliliter are considered to be driving under the influence and face fines of between 200 yuan (US$20.30) and 500 yuan plus a one to three-month license suspension.
Drivers with a blood alcohol level between 0.8mg and 1.5mg milliliter are defined as serious violators and will be detained for 10 to 15 days, fined between 500 yuan and 2,000 yuan and lose their licenses for three to six months.


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