Many residents of Ho Chi Minh City were fined for driving under the influence of alcohol on Thursday, the first day the city resumed dine-in services following a five-month-long ban due to COVID-19.
A team of traffic police officers established a checkpoint at the intersection of Kha Van Can and Pham Van Dong Streets in Thu Duc City on Thursday evening to control the circulation of vehicles.
Multiple people were booked for drunk driving at the checkpoint as restaurants in Thu Duc City had been allowed to serve beer and alcohol on a trial basis.
In one case, the offender said he had just consumed a few glasses of beer with his friends at a nearby beer parlor, an activity he had not been able to take part in for months.
Officers administered a breathalyzer test on the man and wound up issuing a VND7 million (US$307) fine.
He also had his driver’s license revoked for 23 months and his vehicle impounded for seven days.
|Residents are booked for driving under the influence of alcohol in Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre|
In another case, 45-year-old H. from Phu Nhuan District was slapped with similar penalties after his alcohol concentration was measured at 0.787mg per liter of breath, well above Vietnam’s 0.0 limit.
H. said he had decided to grab a couple of drinks with his friends after the ban was lifted and did not expect to get caught by police.
The officers said they had booked many drunk drivers and impounded their vehicles after just one and a half hours of operating the checkpoint.
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee allowed local F&B establishments to reopen for sit-down service from Thursday following a ban that lasted for about five months due to the complicated COVID-19 pandemic.
Transmissions have decelerated over the past few weeks owing to social distancing measures and a nationwide vaccination campaign.
|A man breathes into a breathalyzer in Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City, October 28, 2021. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre|
Eateries are now required to close before 9:00 pm, operate at 50 percent of their capacity, and meet safety criteria promulgated by the municipal steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control.
Sit-down service that involves the sale of beer and alcohol has been piloted in District 7 and Thu Duc City until November 15.
Competent authorities will then review the results of this phase before deciding whether this service will be permitted in other districts.
Only restaurants in nine wards, namely Thao Dien, An Khanh, An Loi Dong, Hiep Phu, Tang Nhon Phu A, Long Phuoc, Binh Tho, Linh Chieu, Linh Tay, are allowed to serve alcoholic drinks during this pilot phase, according to Thu Duc City’s chairman Hoang Tung.