Taipei will not force people convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) to wash the bodies of the deceased as a form of community service as some city councilors have suggested, a city official said Friday.
Out of respect for professionalism in dealing with corpses and the feelings of the deceased’s families, the city will not follow through with the idea.
But the city will expand the janitorial duties of convicted DUI offenders at funeral parlors to a wider area so that they “will have a chance to see dead bodies,” said Taipei Mortuary Service Office superintendent Hwang Wen-ting (黃雯婷) on Friday.
She was denying reports that her office had reached a consensus with the district prosecutors office on a suggestion by city councilors — having convicted DUI offenders perform their community service by washing the bodies of the deceased at funeral parlors so that they can feel both life and death.
Hwang said her office and prosecutors decided to expand the cleaning area for people doing community service to non-restricted areas close to where dead bodies are kept at funeral parlors.
That way, the offenders will have more of a chance to see corpses, Hwang said, expressing the hope that such a measure to be able to “frighten and stop” them from drunk driving again.
The new measure is scheduled to be carried out in December, the official noted.
People convicted of offenses subject to a penalty of under six months in jail or a fine, such as some types of drunk driving, are allowed to commute the sentence or fine with a certain number of community service hours.
Funeral parlors are among the venues where community service is often performed.
According to Ministry of the Interior statistics, the number of people who died in DUI-caused traffic accidents in Taiwan reached 78 in the first nine months of the year, down 33 percent from the same period last year.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel