Composer held after drink-driving crash

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 May, 2011, 12:00am


Renowned musician Gao Xiaosong was detained for drink-driving after being involved in an accident in Beijing on Monday evening, state media reported.

The composer, singer and film director, who made his name with the popular song My Deskmate in the 1990s, was at the wheel of his SUV when it crashed into three other vehicles stopped at a red light on Dongzhimen Outer Avenue around 10.30pm, Xinhua reported.

A breath test conducted by traffic police immediately after they arrived at the scene of the crash found the 42-year-old had an alcohol concentration of 243 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood, the report added.

The legal blood-alcohol limit on the mainland is 80mg/100ml.

If Gao is convicted of drink-driving, he could be detained for up to six months, with his driving licence revoked for at least five years.

'I drank a bottle of white wine and another bottle of imported spirits,' Gao was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

He said he had been drinking with two friends at a downtown hotel and the accident occurred about 10 minutes after he left.

An unnamed police officer cited Gao as saying: 'What I did broke the law. I am ready and willing to take full responsibility.'

Gao rejected a request from Xinhua for an interview but gave the news agency a signed statement that read: 'I'm sorry. I will never drive again when I drink.'

The statement was posted yesterday on Sina's microblog website.

In light of an increasing number of drink-drivers being involved in tens of thousands of road accidents on the mainland each year, the National People's Congress amended the Road Traffic Safety Law to make it a criminal offence in August.

The new law took effect on May 1, with scores of drink-drivers detained nationwide since then.

The Fangshan District People's Court in Beijing on Monday sentenced the first person to be convicted of drink-driving on the mainland to four months' detention and fined him 2,000 yuan (HK$2,391).

According to official figures, nearly 80,000 people died in about 200,000 road accidents. Drink-driving accounted for a considerable percentage of these, though no specific figures were available.