DRINKING OR DRIVING,YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE!
The Vietnamese government has signed a bill on Preventing Alcohol’s Harmful Effects taking effect on the 1st January 2020, banning any consumption of alcohol when driving.
Vietnamese people are known to be big consumers of beer; indeed, they consume on average 43 liters of beers per year making the country the third largest per capita consumer in Asia behind China and Japan. This has some huge impact on both the health of the citizens and the number of deadly accidents. 40% of the road accident is linked to alcohol, causing on average one death every hour. The main reason being that more than two-thirds of people who drink admit driving afterwards.
This is why the government has decided to take some radical measures. From now on, driving while having drinking alcohol is prohibited. If the driver doesn't respect this new rule, he will have to pay a fine proportional to the amount of alcohol present in his blood.
For instance, if the level of alcohol is superior to 0,8g/L the driver could have a fine of VND 30 to 40 million and lose his/her driving license for 22 to 24 months. As for the two wheels drivers, if they have a level of alcohol superior to 0,8g/L they could have a fine of VND 6 to 8 million and their driving license can be taken away for 22 to 24 months as well.
Knowing that VND 8 million is approximately $345 and represents twice a month’s earning for many Vietnamese this measure has had a huge impact on citizens. Indeed, the number of beers sold has dropped from at least 25% since these new rules were voted causing some issues for bars and beers sellers. Indeed, bars had to adapt themselves to this new situation. To do so they are starting to offer free or discounted rides home to be sure to not lose too much consumers.
In addition to restriction on alcohol consumption, the government has also decided to make some restrictions on advertisement. From now on, advertising alcoholic beverages on television and other media platforms is ban from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. It is also prohibited to promote the sales of alcoholic beverages which have an alcoholic percentage superior to 15%. Moreover, some areas such as public spaces, workplace and schools are now also ban from alcohol consumption during office hours.