Sub-Decree Relaxes Penalties Under Traffic Law

Motorists caught driving drunk will only be sent to court if they repeat their offense within a six-month period, according to a new sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday.

Penalties for driving without a license or without a number plate were also reduced to just a fine, removing the possibility for one- to six-month prison terms.

The fines will remain at 800,000 to 4 million riel, or about $200 to $1,000.

Run Rathveasna, director of the National Police’s public order and traffic police department, said any drunk drivers causing injury to others would still be sent to court, though he did not explain why penalties were reduced.

Amendments to the Traffic Law passed late last year included provisions to increase the driving age from 16 to 18.

The amendments followed the rollout of the new Traffic Law at the beginning of last year that stipulated, among a range of new rules, that police officers must not collect fines on the spot and instead issue tickets to be paid later.

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