SINGAPORE - There were 1,785 drink driving violations in the first nine months of this year, a 23 per cent decrease from the same period last year.
Traffic Police figures show that there were fewer deaths from drink driving related accidents from January to September this year as well - nine compared to 12 last year.
As part of ongoing enforcement against drink driving, Traffic Police officers set up several road blocks across Singapore during the early hours of Thursday morning (Dec 3).
Besides targeting errant motorists found to be drink driving, the operation ties in with the start of the festive season to remind all drivers to be responsible on the roads.
The Traffic Police also rolled out a new message for motorists this year: "If you drink, we trust you won't drive. Use your RoadSense."
The previous anti drink driving message, in place since 2009, was "Don't drive to drink and you'll never drink and drive".
Assistant Superintendent Muhd Firdous Haniff, who headed the operations at Clemenceau Avenue, reminded motorists that drink driving is a very serious offence that carries severe penalties.
"We will not let down in our efforts in detecting drink drivers. It is everyone's responsibility to shape road culture, and everyone should be exercising the same responsibility to ensure that you do not drink and drive," he said.
On Thursday morning, more than 20 police officers were seen at the road block carrying out different duties, from identifying possible drink drivers to testing them with handheld breathalysers.
From 1am to 3.30pm, more than 10 drivers were tested at the location, although no arrests were made during that period.
In a new initiative as part of an anti-drink driving campaign jointly organised by the Traffic Police, Singapore Safety Road Council and AsiaOne, responsible drivers were also commended with a small goodie bag. These include those who engaged valet services after drinking.
If convicted, drink drivers will be disqualified from driving for 12 to 48 months. They may also lose their driving licences. First-time offenders can be fined between $1,000 and $5,000.
Repeat offenders may be punished with a maximum fine of $30,000 and a mandatory jail term of up to three years. They may also be caned up to six strokes if death or serious injury is caused.