Restaurants are reporting a sharp fall in the number of customers after a few days the new fines on drink driving took effect.
The drop of customers can be seen at many restaurants along Truong Sa, Hoang Sa, Thanh Thai and Ba Thang Hai streets.
Tran Hai from a restaurant on Truong Sa Street said, “We only had one table on Sunday. Normally, we were crowded around 8-9 pm and even more during weekends. Our revenues during these days have halved. People used to go out for year-end parties at this time when we also had the highest revenue.”
Other restaurants on Truong Sa Street are in the same situation. The owners said this area used to be very lively from night to the early morning of the next day. At many places, the restaurants replaced a large number of beers with soft drinks. Phuong Tuyen, a student in HCM City said they used to get beer but this time would be different.
“We all drive motorbikes to the restaurant so we are all afraid of being fined. We called soft drinks but the party is still very exciting,” Tuyen said.
Vinh, a local from Tan Phu District, said he and his friends had ceased going out to the restaurants. “We have to call for taxis to go to the restaurants and go home so everyone’s lazy. Nearly VND100,000 for taxi drives each time is high for workers.”
Owners of many restaurants on Thanh Thai and Hoang Sa streets said their revenues had dropped by 30-50% these days.
The same situation can also be seen in Hanoi. On Sunday night, only the owner was at the Vuvuzela Restaurant drinking beer. Customers ordered soft drinks and mineral drinks more to avoid fines.
Drunk car drivers will be fined up to VND30-40m (USD1,300-USD1,818) instead of the previous fine of about USD814 if tests show that alcohol content exceeds 80mg per 100 ml of blood or 0.4mg per litre of breath. In addition, their licenses will be revoked for 22-24 months compared to a previous 4-6 months.
Drunk motorcyclists will be fined VND6-8m (USD272-USD363) and their licenses will be suspended for 22-24 months. Drunk cyclists will be fined up to VND600,000 (USD27).