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Duma seeks harsher punishment for drunk driving

March 13, 2013, 17:17 UTC+3

The bill imposes penalties of 200,000 roubles for repeated drunk driving

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MOSCOW, March 13 (Itar-Tass) – The State Duma lower house of Russian parliament passed under the first reading on Wednesday a bill imposing penalties of 200,000 roubles for repeated drunk driving and harsher punishment for road accidents with casualties involving drunk drivers.

The bill was supported by 289 parliamentarians. Six deputies voted against and two abstained.

Amendments were initiated by the head of the Duma committee for security and anti-corruption fight, Irina Yarovaya from the United Russia Party.

She offered to impose a 30,000-rouble penalty for drunk driving and 10,000-rouble penalties for the owner who lends his vehicle to a drunken driver. If the driver is caught intoxicated once again the penalty increases to 50,000 roubles. The driving license is taken away for up to two years if the law is broken for the first time, and up to three years if the law is broken again.

The bill envisages an administrative arrest for 15 days or an alternative penalty of 30,000 roubles if the driver has no driver’s license or has already been stripped of it.

A repeat drunken driver faces a penalty of 200,000 roubles or to the amount of his or her annual salary. Compulsory community service for up to 20 days or compulsory labor for up to two years or an arrest for up to six months are envisaged as an alternative.

Yarovaya has also offered to make amendments to the Criminal Code, with harsher punishment for road accidents with casualties involving drunken drivers. If one person is killed, the driver faces two to seven years in prison, if two – four to nine years. In this case compulsory labor is ruled out and the driver is stripped of the driver’s license for up to three years. At the present moment, the lowest level of punishment is not fixed. This has made it possible to slap only conditional sentence on guilty drivers. However, new rules will make the punishment inevitable, Yarovaya stressed.

Processes connected with stripping a driver of the driver’s license will be video recorded.

The head of the Duma committee, said opinion polls show that over 80 percent of Russian nationals consider drunk driving as the most real threat for them and their next-of-the-kin. “An appallingly big number of crimes are committed by people who are driving drunk. Under statistics, over 2,000 people die yearly and over 18,000 get different injuries,” in these road accidents, she noted.

She believes that the current measures don’t ensure a safe protection of people’s health and life

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