The National Police Agency is to stop using driving under the influence (DUI) arrests as a performance metric for police officers and push for stiffer penalties for the offense.
The agency made the announcement on Tuesday in the wake of a fatal crash on Aug. 28, when an officer was pursuing a DUI suspect on a motorbike who had refused to comply when he was pulled over by police.
While pursuing the suspect, officer Hsueh Ting-yueh (薛定岳) of the New Taipei City Police Department’s Sijhih Precinct (汐止), who was also on a motorbike, crashed into a divider and died later in the day after sustaining head injuries.
On Tuesday, Hsueh’s fiancee, known only by her surname, Hou (侯), posted an emotional message on Facebook calling on President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to institute reforms regarding the performance metrics for police officers.
While the number of solved crimes must be considered when measuring their performance, police officers should not have to pursue arrest quotas, as it places too much pressure on them, Hou said.
She also urged authorities to provide police officers with better safety equipment and to introduce tougher penalties for drunk driving.
A few hours after Hou’s post, the agency said in a statement that it would abolish the arrest quotas at all police precincts nationwide and that the number of DUI arrests would no longer be used as a performance indicator for police officers.
The agency also said that it would pursue harsher penalties for offenses against law enforcement personnel.
Tsai did not issue any concrete instructions related to Hou’s appeals, but said that she has asked Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) to conduct a review of relevant regulations.
Tsai also expressed her deep condolences for Hsueh’s death.
Earlier this year, the Legislative Yuan passed an amendment that increased the fines for drunk driving.
The amendment, which went into effect on July 1, stipulates a fine of NT$30,000 to NT$120,000 for a first DUI offense by drivers and a fine of NT$15,000 to NT$90,000 for motorcyclists.
For repeat offenders, the fine increases to NT$120,000 on the second offense and NT$210,000 on the third, it says.
Prior to July, a DUI fine was NT$15,000 to NT$90,000 per infraction for both motorcyclists and drivers.