TV talent judge jailed six months for drink-driving
Musician Gao Xiaosong was jailed for six months and fined 4,000 yuan (HK$4,800) over a drink-driving incident.
Gao, 42, a judge for the popular show China's Got Talent, is the first prominent figure to receive the maximum jail term since a legal amendment making drink-driving a crime took effect this month.
Sina.com reported that Gao pleaded guilty to a dangerous driving charge yesterday in Dongcheng District People's Court, saying: 'I have no way to defend myself, and my heart is filled with repentance. I used to think that alcohol could bring me freedom, but as it turned out, I was deprived of freedom as a result of drinking.'
Gao said that he was aware he was drunk and he was willing to face whatever penalty he was given.
'I hope my case will teach alcoholics a lesson,' Gao said. 'I also sincerely apologise to my family and the public for what I have done.'
The court heard Gao had drunk white wine while having dinner with two friends on May 8 and then drank whisky afterwards.
Gao told the court that he had called a driver, but he had grown impatient waiting. He took the wheel of an SUV and crashed into three vehicles at a red light in central Beijing. A test by police showed more than 240 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of Gao's blood - three times the legal limit on the mainland.
Gao's driving licence was also revoked, and he cannot apply for a new one for at least five years.
With the number of drink-driving cases among the tens of thousands of road accidents each year rising, the National People's Congress last August amended the Road Traffic Safety Law to make drink-driving a criminal offence. Instead of a 15-day detention, as the law previously laid down, offenders face one to six months in jail if convicted. The law came into effect on May 1.