MOSCOW, September 26 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow police have detained 250 drunk drivers in the first two days of a weeklong monitoring launched after a high-profile car crash in which seven people were killed, including five children, the city police press service told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
"During the inspection, road police units logged 63 violations of traffic rules by drunk drivers in Moscow, and 54 refusals to take alcotest. The number of persons detained for drunk driving in two days reached 247; of those 103 refused to give a breath sample," a police officer said.
The Moscow road police urged drivers to contribute to the struggle against drunk driving and report inadequate driving to police at 02 /020 from mobile phone/. Road police, upon receiving such tips, react quickly with the view of preventing fatal road accidents.
The weeklong raid called "Drunk Driver" was launched at the instruction of head of the Interior Ministry's main department for Moscow Anatoly Yakunin from September 24 through October 1. Police asked the citizens to treat the measure with understanding, as it is foremost aimed at ensuring the safety of the population.
Recently, a number of high-profile road accidents have occurred in Moscow because of drunk driving.
On September 22, Alexander Maximov's car whose speed reached 200 km/h according to some reports, swerved to a bus stop and rammed a group of persons, killing seven. Among the fatalities were five adolescents, winners of the Moscow creativity festival for handicapped children.
Police said Maximov had been quite drunk. The driver himself admitted that he'd been drinking for two days before getting into the car.
A preliminary test found blood alcohol levels at 1.55 promille.
In 2010, Maximov's driving license was suspended for drunk driving.
Criminal proceedings over the fatal road accident were opened under Article 264 of Russia’s Criminal Code /violation of traffic rules by a person in a state of alcoholic intoxication which resulted in the death of two or more people”/. The maximum penalty is nine years in prison and suspension of driving license for up to three years.
Police said 7,141 drunk drivers have been caught since the beginning of this year, and there have been 7,759 cases of drivers' refusing to give a breath sample for alcohol. "Alone from January through August 2012, drunk drivers caused 152 road crashes in Moscow, in which 15 person died and another 205 were injured. The casualty toll does not include the latest crash in which seven persons at a bus stop were killed by a drunk driver.
On Monday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev offered to toughen the punishment for road accidents caused by drunk drivers.
"Perhaps, we should consider tougher criminal responsibility for these crimes, because even with such terrible consequences as the latest car crash in Moscow, the responsibility is rather moderate," Medvedev said at a meeting with his deputies.
Lawmaker Vladimir Pligin earlier said “at least five provisions of the Code of Administrative Offense require a substantive analysis. They cover driving along an incoming lane, exceeding speed limit and disuse of safety belts and helmets."