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Medvedev to discuss toughening punishment for drunk driving

October 05, 2012, 4:40 UTC+3

“Unfortunately, the absolute majority of horrific accidents occur with a driver is heavily drunk,” the prime minister said

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MOSCOW, October 5 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday will call a meeting at his residence outside Moscow on road safety issues. According to the RF government’s press service of the, “it is planned to discuss measures to prevent road accidents involving drivers who are in a state of intoxication.”

After a series of accidents involving drunk drivers, both the country’s leaders and non-governmental organisations have proposed to toughen penalties for persons responsible for road accidents who took to the wheel being tipsy.

“Perhaps, we should think about how to toughen criminal liability for such crimes, because even with such terrible consequences as the recent accident in Moscow had, the responsibility is rather moderate,” the prime minister said, commenting on the high-profile accident in which seven people were killed. “The punishment should be harsher.” “Unfortunately, the absolute majority of horrific accidents occur with a driver is heavily drunk,” he said. “In this regard we have a picture worse than in any other country,” he said.

However, according to Medvedev, it’s not only that. “I think it’s time for us to re-examine the legislation with regard to the road situation and look at the programs that are implemented in the country, and certainly to look into the set of responsibility measures,” the prime minister at a meeting in late September.

According to the RF Interior Ministry, more than 80 percent of road accidents occur due to violation of traffic rules, and only about 20 percent - for other reasons, including due to defective road surface. Law enforcers believe that the most socially dangerous offence is driving under the influence. Over the past two years, the number of accidents involving drunk drivers has increased by 3.5 percent per year. Since the beginning of the year, more than 190 thousand administrative offence cases were opened against drivers who were driving while intoxicated.

However, the Interior Ministry noted that the current system of punishment for those who like to drive after drinking “is not a significant deterrent, especially for drivers under the age of 26.”

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