Russia’s Duma passes tough law on drink-driving

ecb4rian 01408189.hr .ru  Russia’s Duma passes tough law on drink driving

The bill was introduced by the chairman State Duma Committee forSecurity and Anti-Corruption measures Irina Yarovaya from theUnited Russia party. The bill toughens responsibility forrepeatedly committing offenses such as driving drunk with orwithout a driver’s license. According to the new bill, the finewill be raised to 200 thousand rubles (about $6,500) for repeatedoffenses.  As an alternative to the fine, the deputiessuggest compulsory community work up to 480 hours, forced work upto two years or detention up to six months.According to the bill, a fine of 30 thousand roubles (about$920) will be set for driving in a state of alcohol intoxication. Afine of 10 thousand roubles (about $300) will be set for handingover the wheel to a person under the influence of alcohol.In each of the cases, the driver will be deprived of his licensefor one and a half or two years. If these offenses are repeated,the fine will be raised to 50 thousand roubles (about $1,630).If the drunk driver was caught without a license or he wasdeprived of his license before, he will be fined 30 thousandroubles or charged with 15 days of administrative arrest if he isunable to pay.In addition, the criminal penalties will be toughened forkilling a person while driving drunk, according to thebill.  If the victim of the drunk driver dies, then theoffender faces imprisonment for a period of two to sevenyears.For the deaths of two or more people the charges areraised and the offender faces from four to nine years injail. Compared to the current set of laws in the Criminal Code,the innovation of the bill is the establishment of the minimum timeof imprisonment. The bill also excludes the possibility ofpenalizing the offender by means of community service in cases offatal accidents.  In addition to that in all fatal cases thedriver’s license will be revoked for a period of 3years.According to Yarovaya, more than 80 percent of Russians thinkthat drunken drivers pose the greatest threat to their life andhealth, says Interfax.  She considers it wrong thatcurrently some of the drivers who were the cause of lethalaccidents received only two years’ probation, Interfaxreports.But there is much criticism of the bill since the currentlegislation says only people with 0 per mil of alcohol in theirblood are considered ‘sober’. This means people with naturallyoccurring alcohol in their blood or those taking certain medicineswould be considered intoxicated.The alcohol level at which a person is considered to be legallyimpaired varies by country. For comparison Britain has thepermitted level of 0.8 per mil permitted and USA the samenumber.Criminal penalties for drunken driving can be toughened only ifthere is a criterion for determining the level of the driver’sintoxication, said First Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee onConstitutional Legislation and State Vyacheslav Lysakov, RIANovosti news agency reports.Lysakov proposed an amendment according to which a man would berecognized as drunk if the level of alcohol is greater than 0.2 permil in his blood, RIA Novosti reports.  The amendmentwas submitted after the bill passed its  firstreading.The State Duma has intensified its work on proposals to increasepenalties for drunk driving after seven people were killed, including several disabledteens, when a driver ran his speeding car into a bus stop in theRussian capital in September last year. The 30-year-old driver wasdetained at the scene and later confessed he was in a state of“alcoholic intoxication” at the time of the crash. Several hoursafter his arrest, the driver was barely able to stand on his feetbut still tried to break free.There have been calls to toughen the legislation before. Adbanners were spotted on one of Moscow’s highways with a sloganreading “We are tired of warning you. Don’t f**g drink& drive”.

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Russia’s Duma passes tough law on drink-driving

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