Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that he is in favor of a regulation scheduled to come into effect next month that requires convicted drunk drivers to clean mortuaries as community service, on the condition that they do not touch corpses.

Ko made the remark in response to media queries on the sidelines of a sporting event at Guandu Elementary School in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投).

The Taipei Mortuary Services Office on Friday said it had reached a consensus with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on implementing the policy, which requires repeat drunk drivers to clean mortuaries at the city’s First and Second funeral parlors.

Ko said that the measure would undergo a trial period.

Asked to comment on the Kaohsiung City Government’s statement that it would not follow suit and implement a similar policy because it is disrespectful to the deceased, Ko said he had made it clear that drunk-driving offenders can only “look but not touch,” after Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilor Ho Chih-wei (何志偉) proposed last month that people convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol wash the bodies of the deceased as a form of community service

Although the sight of corpses might deter offenders from driving when inebriated, other corrective measures are also required for drunk-driving offenders, Ko said.

Drunk drivers would be required to attend counseling sessions, while repeat offenders will have to undergo counseling and clean mortuaries, Ko said