Drinking on construction sites leads to 2 separate drunk driving arrests in one day in New Taipei City

Two men who were drunk by lunchtime on separate construction sites in New Taipei City were arrested for drunk driving yesterday, Friday, December 7.

Shortly after noon, police in Tamsui District stopped a man driving a forklift to check if he had a permit to drive the vehicle on a public road. The 63-year-old driver, named Lan, did not have a permit, and police noticed that Lan reeked of alcohol. An alcohol breath test revealed that Lan had a blood alcohol level of 0.46 mg/l, well over the 0.25 mg/l (0.05% BAC) legal limit.

Mr Lan claimed that he did not know that it was illegal to drive a forklift under the influence of alcohol.

According to police inquiries, Lan had started drinking beer on the construction site in a lane off Xinshi 1st Road, at around 11:00 am. Thinking that driving a forklift while drunk would not involve criminal liability, he left the construction site and drove all the way to Xinshi.

police dashcam of forklift on road.
Police spot a forklift being driven on a public road in Tamsui District, New Taipei City, December 7, 2022. Picture: Tamsui Police Precinct.

In New Taipei City’s Yingge District, a 49-year-old man, named Chiu, drank a 600 ml bottle of the alcoholic energy drink ” Paolyta” before leaving a construction site at around 12:30 pm. After resting at home for around six hours, Chiu went out on a motor scooter and was stopped and tested for alcohol in Sanxia District at around 6:30 pm. Chiu’s blood alcohol level measured 0.39mg/l.

While alcohol is prohibited by law on construction sites, drinking in the workplace by construction workers is quite common, according to a 2016 study.

alcohol roadside testing point in Sanxia District New Taipei City.
Police in Sanxia District are conducting 24-hour roadside testing patrols in an attempt to curb drunk driving.

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