Soldiers to face stiffer penalties for drunk driving, false speech
Taipei, Nov. 5 (CNA) The Legislative Yuan has passed amendments that will increase the penalties for military personnel found guilty of a repeated driving under the influence (DUI) offense that kills or injures people and widen the scope for prosecuting people for spreading misinformation.
The amendment to Article 54 of the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces targets military personnel with a previous conviction or deferred prosecution for drunk driving who are again found guilty of a DUI offense within five years that caused deaths or severe injuries.
Under the revised law, offenders whose actions lead to people's deaths will be subject to a prison sentence of between five years and life, compared with a previous penalty of three to 10 years in jail.
Those causing severe injuries will face prison terms of three to 10 years, up from one to seven-year jail terms previously.
The amended law will also raise penalties for DUI offenses with public or military vehicles.
The revision was made to subject active servicemen to the same penalties for serious DUI offenses that apply to those who are inactive by aligning military law with Taiwan's Criminal Code, according to the Ministry of National Defense.
The Criminal Code was revised in May 2019 to stiffen the penalties for repeat DUI offenses that result in deaths or injuries.
The Legislative Yuan also passed an amendment to Article 72 of the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces on spreading misinformation.
Originally, the law said military personnel found guilty of propagating or fabricating rumors related to military affairs would face a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to NT$300,000 (US$9,866).
Under the revision, military personnel are also not allowed to recite rumors, or propagate, fabricate or recite false information.
Also, the amendment expands the channels over which misinformation cannot be spread to radio, television, electronic communications or the internet, or other communication means.
The punishment for spreading misinformation through those channels will be increased by 50 percent compared to the previous penalties.
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