DUIs Up 23% Year-on-year in Kaohsiung

To reduce the number of DUI cases, the Kaohsiung City Government now offers a NT$3,000 bounty to those who give tips to report drunk drivers.

A car crashes into the guardrail of an election stage at high speed. This DUI just happened in October. According to statistics, Kaohsiung police caught 289 drunk drivers in October. Although this is fewer than in October 2021, the number of DUIs in the first 10 months of the year saw a year-on-year increase of 23 percent to 9,145. To reduce the frequency of DUIs, the city launched a “report a drunk driver” campaign in August.

Kuo Yen-wei, Traffic Police, Kaohsiung City: “Tipsters should provide the time and place of the incident and the drunk driver’s license plate number, along with the make and color of the car and which direction the car was headed in. And then, after they report the driver, the police will investigate and disburse the reward in accordance with relevant laws.”

Those that witness drunk driving are supposed to call a police station or the 110 hotline and provide police with the time and location of the incident along with the license plate number, make and color of the car. They are also required to leave their own name and contact information. Rewards range from NT$1,000 for DUIs involving scooters to NT$3,000 for DUIs involving cars. Police say people that are in the same car or on the same scooter as the drunk driver or friends and family of the drunk driver are not eligible for rewards. Meanwhile, city residents say the initiative is impractical and maybe even pointless.

Ms. Chen, Citizen: “You’re trying to get out of the way so you don’t get hit. When are you supposed to find the opportunity to report them? It’s only a possibility if you’re on the sidewalk and you’re a witness or something.”

Mr. Chan, Citizen: “If you don’t (report) this, it will keep on happening.”

The campaign was launched in August, but Kaohsiung police have not received a single report to date. With year-end banquet season approaching, police hope citizens can take advantage of the program while urging drivers not to get behind the wheel when under the influence.