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Drunk driving-related deaths fall in 2013: police

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Deaths resulting from driving while intoxicated decreased by almost 35 percent in 2013 compared to that of 2012 thanks to tougher laws, police said yesterday.

The National Police Agency (NPA) said it cracked down on more than 110,000 DUI cases in 2013, with over 60,000 of them subsequently referred to prosecutors for further criminal prosecution.

The number of cases of people driving under the influence (DUI) was down by 5,756 compared to 2012, but the number of criminal cases against DUI drivers increased by 8,433, NPA said.

DUI-related deaths totaled 245 in 2013, down by 131 from the 2012 figure, NPA added.

The Legislature revised the drunk driving law last year to introduce tougher measures against DUI drivers, such as a stricter definition for drunk driving. DUI drivers convicted of causing deaths could now be jailed up to 10 years.

According to the NPA statistics, the biggest decrease in DUI-related deaths was seen in Kaohsiung, with a decline of 40 deaths. The second was Taichung, with a decrease of 21.

But Taitung saw seven more DUI-related deaths in 2013, the NPA said.

Although some areas recorded increased numbers of DUI-related deaths in 2013, the overall trend has been going down, NPA stressed.

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