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June 11, 2011

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Drunk driver jailed for 3 months under new law

THE city's first drunk driver caught after the introduction of tougher road safety laws last month was yesterday jailed for three months for dangerous driving.

Xu Huaxing, 36, was also fined 2,000 yuan (US$309) by the Songjiang District People's Court, in addition to the 73,000 yuan he paid in compensation for medical costs and vehicle repairs to victims.

Judges said Xu received a lighter penalty because he pleaded guilty at a hearing on May 31 and had been forgiven by the victims.

"I should bear responsibility for my mistake," said Xu, who received his driving license last December, at the hearing.

On the afternoon of May 1,Xu, a machinery factory employee, was driving a borrowed car when he hit the rear of a van near the intersection of Lianfu Road and Jiuxin Highway in Jiuting Town.

The impact sent the van into a roadside tree, causing slight injuries to six people inside.

Xu was driving relatives home from a wedding party where he had been drinking.

When traffic police arrived, they could smell alcohol on Xu's breath and breathalyzed him. As the test showed Xu was drunk, police took a blood sample for further tests.

The alcohol amount in Xu's blood was 184 milligrams per 100 milliliters, exceeding the limit of 80 milligrams per 100 milliliters.

Xu told the court he was unaware drunk driving was a crime.

Since the new law came into effect, 17 drunk drivers have been prosecuted, according to the Shanghai Prosecutors' Office.

These were 16 men and one woman whose ages ranged from 23 to 47.

Victims in four of the 17 cases were injured and four suspects fled the scene afterwards, prosecutors said.


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