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Drunk driving may become criminal offense in Russia

August 13, 2013, 16:57 UTC+3

Repeat offenders may face 18 months in prison

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Photo ITAR-TASS/ Valeriy Matytsin

Photo ITAR-TASS/ Valeriy Matytsin

MOSCOW, August 13. (Itar-Tass) - State Duma deputy Vyacheslav Lysakov, representative of the All Russia People's Front organization, said on Tuesday the parliament might pass a law next year introducing criminal responsibility for repeat DUI offenders.

"In autumn, we'll start working on amendments to the Criminal and Criminal Procedural Codes. I'm sure we'll pass these amendments by the end of the year so that they come into effect January 1, 2014," Lysakov said in an interview to Itar-Tass.

Currently, drunk driving is only an administrative offense in Russia.

Commenting on possible introduction of a prison sentense, the lawmaker said they will not be long, from one year to 18 months. "We'll be discussing these sanctions," Lysakov said.

Community service or a large fine might be an alternative to prison term. "Reoffending is understood as committing the same offense within a year after the end of operation of the previous sanction."

The parliamentarian said the  6 to 7 percent of the total number of traffic accidents are caused by drunk drivers; on the other hand,their consequences are most severe. Seventy percent of traffic accidents occur because of traffic law violations committed by sober drivers; poor road conditions account for another 20 percent.

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