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September 11, 2009

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German caught drunk driving

A GERMAN driver who caused a serious accident after he had been drinking has been ordered to serve 15 days' detention in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, police said yesterday.

The man was the first foreigner to be caught in the city since a national campaign was launched last month aimed at stamping out drunk driving.

He was fined 1,500 yuan (US$219), Xi'an police said.

They said the man was 38 and held an EU driving license.

Liu Yang, an officer with the traffic police division in the city's Yanta District, said the German Embassy in China had requested the man's identity be kept confidential.

"Cases involving foreigners should be reported to their respective foreign embassies. The German Embassy has requested us not to release the man's identity to media," said Liu.

He said the man was also driving illegally, because traffic regulations required foreign drivers to obtain a Chinese license.

The German was sitting in the rear passenger seat when police caught him on Tuesday night. The front of his Kia car had smashed into the rear of a Jetta. Both vehicles were seriously damaged, but no one was injured. A breath test showed the man's blood alcohol level 201mg per 100ml.

The man later said he was on his way to visit his wife, a Chinese working in Xi'an, and had been drinking at his birthday party before driving.

China's Ministry of Public Security says in serious cases of drunk driving drivers face 15 days' detention.


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