USD700 fine proposed for drunk drivers. Under a draft decree, automobile drivers with alcohol levels of up to 0.25 mg per liter of breath or 50 mg per 100 ml of blood (Level 1) will face heftier fines, ranging from VND3 million to VND5 million, compared with the current VND2 – VND3 million rates. For those with higher alcohol levels, from above 50 mg to 80 mg per 100 ml of blood or from above 0.25 mg to 0.4 mg per liter of breath (Level 2), the fines would increase from the current VND7 – VND8 million to VND8 – VND12 million. As for those with alcohol levels of over 0.4 mg per liter of breath or over 80 mg per 100 ml of blood (Level 3), they would be subject to fines of VND14 – VND16 million, compared to the current VND10 – VND15 million. Those who are fined for Level 2 and 3 violations would also have their car driver’s licenses revoked for three months instead of the current two months. Motorbike drivers who are caught for Level 2 and 3 violations will face fines of VND1 – VND2 million and VND5 – VND7 million, respectively.

VND1.6 BILLION found inside an abandoned motorbike in northern Vietnam. Police officers in Luong Son District of Hoa Binh Province were on patrol when they came across the vehicle on the street. When no one came to get the bike, the police officers decided to take it to their station and found the cash in the storage space under the seat. A Hanoi traffic police officer told Tuoi Tre the bike, which is a silver and black Yamaha, is registered under the initials C.T.D., who was said to reside in Bac Tu Liem District in the capital city. A Tuoi Tre correspondent went to the address, but there is no one with those initials there. The bike is said to belong to someone working for a drug trafficking ring. The money is still unclaimed.

~600 transgender people in Vietnam who underwent sex reassignment surgery want their names and identification papers changed to match their new gender. However, according to the ministry’s staff, current regulations do not allow the modification of people’s identification. The only exception is for those whose gender is different from their physical appearance due to defects in chromosomes or genetics. Studies presented at a seminar on transgender people at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities in June last year showed that it is difficult for young transgender people to access social and health services as well as land jobs because they do not have appropriate identification. Transgender people face significant challenges because their appearance differs from the image on their ID card.

VND950 BILLION will be spent on building three large-scale reservoirs in the most flood-prone areas in three districts. With a total area of 100ha, the three proposed reservoirs are expected to accumulate tens of millions of cubic meters of water and resolve the flooding problem in District 4, Tan Binh District and Thu Duc District. The largest will be the VND600 billion Go Dua reservoir measuring 95 hectares in area in Thu Duc, followed by the VND300 billion Khanh Hoi facility covering 4.8 hectares in District 4, and the VND50 billion 0.4ha Bau Cat lake in Tan Binh. What is more, the city will also expand some existing artificial lakes in many parks into reservoirs for water regulation. Local authorities have also identified 103 other heavily-flooded spots, mainly in Binh Chanh District, Nha Be District and District 9, to set up smaller-scale regulating reservoirs to prevent flooding. In August, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked officials in the southern city to solve the flooding problem in the next five years with a focus on rectifying the situation in the downtown area.

VND600,000 – VND800,000 fine for those caught using cellphones while driving, according to a draft decree by the Ministry of Transport. The draft decree is meant to improve road safety and reduce traffic accidents as well as amend and supplement existing Decrees 171 and 201 on punishment for traffic rule breakers. The penalties are aimed at deterring drivers from using cellphones when driving, a practice that can make them lose concentration, leading to fatal accidents. The inclusion of that type of fine, the first of its kind in Vietnam so far, is in line with the 1968 International Convention on Road Traffic to which Vietnam has been party, according to the board. Meanwhile, those who drive motorbikes or non-motorized vehicles on expressways would be given fines ranging from VND2 million – VND4 million, or 10 times the current rates of VND200,000 – VND400,000. The ministry will submit this draft decree to the central government for consideration next month and if it is approved, it will be enforced in December this year, the transport ministry said.

~300 new businesses are launched every day in Vietnam. Vietnam has seen a huge increase in the number of new companies in the past several months after an amendment on business and investment laws. The General Statistics Office reported that 9,301 new businesses were established across the country in August, with a total capital of VND55.2 trillion, up around 41 percent from the previous month. The amended laws allow businesses to expand their activities as long as what they do is not illegal. Previously, companies in Vietnam had to exactly specify their business activities in their business license. The list of illegal business activities has also been shortened from 51 to 6, but still includes wildlife trading, human trafficking and sex services. Statistics also showed that 7,595 businesses suspended their operation in August, up 28 percent from the previous month, and 834 businesses shut down, up 11.5 percent.