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Foreign diplomat arrested for DUI to face court: MOFA

2018/11/12 17:47:02

Vice Foreign Minister Jose Maria Liu (劉德立) / CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 12 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Monday reaffirmed Taiwan's zero tolerance for drunk driving after a Papua New Guinean diplomat was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) the previous day.

The ministry has repeatedly reminded staff at diplomatic missions in Taiwan of the country's zero tolerance for drunk driving, Vice Foreign Minister Jose Maria Liu (劉德立) told media reporters Monday.

Liu's comment came after a staff member from the Papua New Guinean mission in Taiwan was referred for prosecution after being stopped by police in Taipei and charged with driving while over the legal alcohol limit the day before.

The staff member was asked to take a breathalyzer test at around 5 a.m. Sunday and was found to be over the legal limit. After being questioned, he was detained and referred to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office for offenses against public safety, according to Taipei police.

When asked by reporters about the matter, Liu said Taiwan has zero tolerance for drunk driving. "We will absolutely not tolerate it," he added.

The ministry has reiterated to foreign embassies, consulates and representative offices in Taiwan that those who violate the drunk driving law will be prosecuted, Liu said.

Foreign diplomats, consulars or representatives in Taiwan do not have diplomatic immunity for traffic violation, Lee Yueh-rung (李岳融), deputy head of the MOFA's Protocol Department told CNA.

In addition, the car the Papua New Guinean staff member was driving was registered as a private vehicle so the matter will be dealt with in accordance with the law, Lee added.

(By Wang Cheng-chung and Evelyn Kao)