Toufen Precinct, Miaoli County Police Station, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A 61-year-old married Indonesian woman who has lived in Taiwan for more than 34 years successfully appealed a total of NT$90,000  (US$3,000) in traffic fines, as a court accepted that she was illiterate and could not read the signs she had been accused of ignoring.

In April, the woman surnamed Huang, who is married to a Taiwanese man, was riding on her motorbike in Toufen, Miaoli county, China Times reported, when she arrived at a checkpoint. Unable to read the signs, she made a U-turn and left, leading police to believe she was evading the checkpoint inspection and breathalyzer test.

After being found guilty of those offenses, she was fined a total of NT$90,900 and had her driver’s license suspended for three years.

Huang appealed her case at Taiwan Hsinchu District Court, arguing that the only reason she had failed to follow the police order was that she could not understand the signs as she was illiterate.

In addition, she had not been driving under the influence of alcohol, and the police made no attempt to verify this, but simply charged her right away, the court heard.

Based on the records of her household registration, Huang was confirmed as an illiterate, and so the court waived NT$90,000 of her fine for evading a breath test, with only the NT$900 fine for refusing a checkpoint inspection remaining valid.

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