Drinking and driving

Does anyone know what are the drinking and driving laws are here in Taiwan? I heard they are pretty strict. Will I get arrested even if I had a couple beers and then drive? Are cops very wary of drunken drivers? Do they stake out bars and such? I am not saying I drive drunk, but it would be nice to grab a beer after work and then drive home. Any help on this matter would be appreciated.

Does anyone know what are the drinking and driving laws are here in Taiwan?

Yes they include pretty big fines and endorsements on your license if you have one

I heard they are pretty strict. Will I get arrested even if I had a couple beers and then drive?

Unless you are super drunk and you then get a prison sentence the bike gets impounded bike and you spend a night in the tank

Are cops very wary of drunken drivers?

Yes I remember two years ago… a drunk woman drove over two cops at a checkpoint… after this I should expect the pressure has been put on the cops to nab drunk drivers… a long with this they make millions each year from the fines… so it good for teh cops if the cops are generating money for Ma Eng Jou

Do they stake out bars and such?
roads near the bars… They are always nabbign people on Civil Boulevard and alleys off Civil Boulevard… although one night I saw them down and alley in NeiHu near my place… so you just don’t know

I am not saying I drive drunk, but it would be nice to grab a beer after work and then drive home. Any help on this matter would be appreciated.

One should not push you over the limit… but then can you ever just have the one

They only stake out late at night. They rest of the time you can do what you like and run over who you like. If you don’t stop you if you knock someone over, how are they going to stop if if you drive drunkenly ? And how would they tell the difference between drunken driving and Taiwanese driving ?

A couple of foreigners I know have had the book thrown at them.

Be safe and responsible, rather than sorry. Leave your bike at work and taxi it home on those nights. Even one drink impairs your reflexes whilst driving. It’s not good to drive any vehicle after drinking, especially one that offers you no airbags, no seatbelt, and full on impact. And not only you, but the danger you may represent to others due to your slower reflexes.
I have a lifelong affliction from drinking and driving a scooter many years ago. Should have just got a taxi home that night. :frowning:

I’ve lost one friend to drunk driving in Taiwan, and a second friend of mine will probably never be the same because of a severe drunk driving accident he was involved in. Both of them were the offenders.

Please be careful, and worry less about fines and more about lives, yours and others.

Ditto that.
It bothers me that a lot of foreigners will ride drunk or with a totally inadequate safety helmet.

So, what is the story, Zen?

Just tried a google search, but came up empty, yet I remember reading a comarison chart one day looking at penalties for drink driving. Some countries will put you out in front of a firing squad, aka Hogan’s Heroes.

In Australia, no one’s game, and the penalties are steep, a lot worse than the fines I’ve read about here anyway. Plus it unexcepted by the community as a whole - Taiwan however?

The first accident happened last year…head-on into a truck. He died of a severe brain hemorage a few days later. His family is still dealing with the fines and repurcussions of the accident.

The second happened this year. A friend of a friend. Again, head-on collision. And again, serious repurcussions.

Play safe.

From June 12, 2002:
Drunken drivers to get stiffer punishments in Taipei


I think that’s key to the enforcement of any rule anywhere. Until the community regards the offense as unacceptable, enforcement measures will be difficult to implement.

In Taiwan, certain behaviors are simply not yet regarded as unacceptable. Thus, only spotty enforcement and even then, punishment is too frequently a slap on the wrist.

Doesn’t do much for prevention, IMO.

I think NZ’s much the same as Australia re drunk driving and they’ve been copying each other’s campaigns and advertising for a long time. A lot of the problem was int he countryside, where the only nightlife (or any social life) around was the pub and the only way to get there was driving. There it was accepted that you really didn’t have any other way of getting home. In Taiwan (or Taipei at least) there’s really no excuse. Anyway in Aus and NZ there were advertising campaigns (like some really gruesome ones) and lots of good slogans like “If you drink and drive, you’re a real idiot”, so that eventually intolerance of drunk driving spread through the whole of society. It took time and a continued effort.


It’s not worth it, get a taxi for the 100-300NT that it will take. That’s only one drink in pretty much any pub in Taiwan. It’s bad enough in the US (I know), so here I can imagine its even worse because I am sure they wouldn’t mind making examples out of foreigners.

I believe the campaign slogan was “If you drink and drive you’re a bloody idiot”. They are not swearing at you, find the double meaning.

That’s right Boss, I was going to say something earlier, but I though you kiwi’s probably toned it down in order not to offend your aging population :wink:

Australia does have stiff penalties, in fact it’s an offence even to sell alcohol to a drunk person. (Kind of a stupid law in moy opinion, but hwat do I know?) But New Zealand the same? No way mate.

I gave up drink-driving years ago, having been fortunate enough to do no more harm than writing off a few cars, but had a slight relapse while down under and hit a random breath test.

I was probably three times over the limit, and had to persuade the cops to drive my van home for me after being booked. (He couldn’t figure out how to do the gears so he worked the pedals and I did the knob. This is for real!)

I was fined NZ$800, which is a pittance really, and barred from holding a NZ license for six months. As I didn’t have a NZ license to start with that was hardly an inconvenience. I asked the duty lawyer, and his opinion was that my driving privileges had not been revoked.

Hardly a deterrent is it? Not that I need one, I’ve grown up and it’s not something I do these days.

Riding around drunk in Taiwan? No bloody way! I take the MRT if I’m feeling anything less than 90% alert and able to deal with all those nutters out there. I’ve done it a couple of times after just one drink, but that’s my limit.

Incidentally, the effects apparently last longer than we used to think as well - news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3023495.stm

And while looking that story up I cam across this one - news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2634499.stm - good old New Zealand! It beats me how anyone can believe that they are drinking enough alcohol to get drunk when they can’t taste it. I always know if someone spikes my drink.

That’s what I typed. Who edited my post? :imp: