Feb 25, 2009

Drunk Driving in Palau

KOROR (Palau Horizon) – Palau courts got tougher against drunk drivers as four men were sentenced last week to spend 20 days in jail as a result of DUI convictions.

The 20-day jail termare for first time offenders, repeat offenders will get a higher jail sentence in the past, first time offenders, only get a mandatory 24-hour jail term.

Public Defender Garth Backe said that the court is now imposing tougher penalties on intoxicated drivers.

Backe said first time offenders, will get this time the punishment for first time offenders for DUI is one year probation, 20 days in jail, $500 fine and 30 hours of community service.

The offender will also be barred from driving for a year and will have to undergo evaluation from Bedochel Treament Program.

Backe said a second offense will mean 40 days in jail and $1,000 fine.

Last week four people pleaded guilty to DUI charges, Judge Honora Rudimch sentenced them to 20 days in jail.

Backe said that DUI suspects can contest the charges and go to trial, suspects pleading guilty will get 20-days jail term automatically.

DUI suspects losing the case can get more than 20-day jail sentence, the statute can impose up to one year jail sentence against first time offenders.

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