Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Tuesday called for extra monitoring of alcohol level violations in traffic during upcoming holidays.
In a document issued to maintain traffic safety during New Year and the Lunar New Year (Tet) holidays, the prime minister called for people to not drive after drinking and not using mobile phones while driving, and to follow speed limits.
A traffic police officer checks the alcohol level of a car driver in HCMC's Thu Duc City, Oct. 2023.
The Ministry of Public Security has been tasked with dealing with those who violate traffic rules. They are also tasked with stopping illegal motorbike and car races.
The prime minister requested for localities to finish fixing vital traffic routes and returning the streets to the people a week before Tet, Vietnam's biggest holiday which peaks on Feb. 10. The main routes that act as entry for downtown Hanoi and HCMC, that connect stations, airports and ports, need to have measures to be organized so there would be no long-lasting traffic congestion before and after Tet, he said.
Also on Tuesday the traffic police department under the public security ministry said that measures to ensure traffic safety would be deployed until Tet, where the ministry would coordinate police officers to deal with risks of traffic accidents, including alcohol, drug and speed violations.
Teams would pay special attention to buses, coaches and cars that carry violating goods, a representative of the department said.
In the first nine months of this year, 222 cases of traffic accidents were caused by people with alcohol levels, resulting in 99 deaths and 168 injured.
Vietnamese law dictates that any amount of alcohol found in a person's system while driving will result in his or her losing their license for a period of time. DUI penalties can include a fine of up to VND40 million (US$1,640) fine and a two-year license suspension, while those who cause accidents while intoxicated can face criminal charges.
Vietnam will celebrate Tet break for seven days from Feb. 8 to 14, 2024. There will also be a three-day break from Dec. 30, 2023 to Jan. 1, 2024 for New Year.