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August 24, 2009

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Thousands of drunk drivers caught

CHINESE police caught about 15,000 drunk drivers since a two-month nationwide crackdown was launched on August 15, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Among these drivers, 2,052 or 13.7 percent recorded blood alcohol concentrations at or above 80 milligrams per 100 milliliters when seized by police, the ministry said on its Website on Saturday.

The highest number of drunk-driving cases was reported in Zhejiang Province with 3,075 cases. Shandong Province had 1,677, Shanghai 1,542, Jiangsu Province 1,268 and Beijing 1,119, the statement said.

Males made up about 98.6 percent of such drivers and 72 percent were aged 30 to 49, it said.

According to the ministry, drunk drivers' licenses will be suspended for three or six months and, in serious cases, the driver will be detained for 15 days.

If a drunk driver is caught twice within one year, his or her license will be revoked for two to five years.

The campaign was launched to prevent serious traffic accidents ahead of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1.

It's the latest ministry move against drunk driving following increased media coverage of fatalities and accidents in recent months.

On August 4, a drunk driver in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, killed a 16-year-old girl. Two days later, a drunk driver in Shanghai killed a four-year-old boy and injured three others.

The ministry said there was "no obvious drop" in drunk driving since the campaign was launched.


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