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Duma vice-speaker calls for stricter punishment for deputies who drive drunk

November 01, 2012, 23:24 UTC+3

United Russia faction in the State Duma demanded complete prohibition of alcohol for drivers

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MOSCOW, November 1 (Itar-Tass) — Andrei Vorobyov, the vice-speaker of the Russian State Duma and the head of the United Russia faction, said on Thursday that deputies or officials should not only be punished for drunk driving in full compliance with the law but also be stripped of party membership and official positions.

In this way, Vorobyov commented on the recent drunk driving incident that involved Igor Kirichenko, a deputy of the Bryansk regional Duma from the United Russian party. “It doesn’t matter to which party he belongs. On the contrary, a deputy who drives drunk should be subject to additional punishment,” Vorobyov said. He added that the best thing in such cases would be to expel a deputy from the party and strip him of his deputy status.

He confirmed that the United Russia faction in the State Duma demanded complete prohibition of alcohol for drivers. ”Today, there’s a risk that permission to have a 0.2 parts per mile of alcohol in blood is perceived by drivers as permission to drive. In this case, Russian ‘a very little more’ leads to a tragedy,” Vorobyov emphasized.

At the same time, the deputy said that the United Russia faction believes that an algorithm that would fully exclude the possibility of an error should be created by the time the bill introducing stricter punishment for drunk driving goes through the second State Duma hearing. Vorobyov explained that it’s necessary people suspected of driving drunk should be tested very carefully and attentively to exclude the possibility of punishing innocent drivers. A campaign to introduce stricter punishment for drunk driving kicked off after a terrible car accident on Minsk Street in the west of Moscow in September when a drunk driver killed seven people, including children, and injured three others by crashing his car into a bus stop.

The 29-year-old driver, Alexander Maximov, was arrested at the scene. It turned out that his driving license had been suspended in 2010 for drunk driving. He drove at about 200km/h (125mph). A test conducted later determined that he was in a state of alcoholic intoxication at the time of the accident.

Deputy Andrei Vorobyov believes that anti-drunk driving law could be adjusted further if the newly-proposed measures were not enough.



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