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China orders death sentence in DUI fatality

In late July of this year, China recorded the first ever death penalty sentence for a DUI conviction in the country.*

A court located in the southwestern portion of the country handled the decision. The man, Sun Weiming, was found guilty of endangering public safety and sentenced to death for an accident that killed for. Weiming is 30 years old. The story was reported in state newspapers. 

The accident occurred last December when Weiming was both under the influence and speeding through Chengdu, which is in Sichuan province. He crossed a center line and struck four cars total, leading to four deaths and another injury. He was unlicensed at the time of the accident. It is suspected he was also fleeing the scene of another accident. This disregard for driving laws partly contributed to the harsh penalty. 

The man’s blood-alcohol level was reported at .13%; China has the same .08% maximum used throughout the United States. He reportedly begged for a lesser sentence and chance to make up for the crime, but the judge determined his obvious disregard for public safety was shown through driving without a license, fleeing an accident, speeding and drinking before driving.

China currently uses capital punishment more than any other country in the world. It is estimated over 1,700 people were put to death in 2008, according to Amnesty International. As opposed to the way capital punishment is used in the United States, it is used as a punishment for even nonviolent crimes in China. 

*This fact has been reported by several newspapers, but it is not confirmed due to a lack of public records

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