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Move hits drunk drivers in pocket

CONVICTED drunk drivers will have to pay up to 30 percent more in compulsory car insurance premiums from March 1, the latest move to block dangerous drivers from China's roads.

Drivers found under the influence of alcohol will pay 10 to 15 percent more for the compulsory liability insurance. Drunk driving could result in a 20 percent to 30 percent higher premium. The maximum surcharge is 60 percent, according to China News Service today.

The Ministry of Public Security is working on the new policy with China Insurance Regulatory Commission, the country's top insurance regulator. The new policy will come into effect gradually across the nation.

A series of deaths caused by drunk drivers last year highlighted the problem and triggered a nationwide crackdown on drunk driving last August.

Police have detained more than 38,000 drunk drivers in 313,000 cases since. A total of 280,000 driving licenses were suspended.

China introduced mandatory vehicle accident liability insurance in July 2006. Car owners pay 1,050 yuan (US$153.73) each year for the insurance.

Drivers with a clean accident record over three years can receive a 30 percent discount designed to encourage safe driving.


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