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State Duma committee initiates harsher punishment for drunk driving

June 25, 2014, 17:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW
If the bill is passed by the State Duma, approved by the Federation Council upper house and signed into law by the Russian president, it will go into effect on January 1, 2015
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© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

MOSCOW, June 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian lower house’s committee for constitutional legislation on Wednesday proposed a draft law imposing criminal responsibility for drunk driving, with a maximal punishment envisaging up to two years in prison.

At present, drunk drivers are facing only administrative sanctions, in which they are stripped of their driver’s license for a year-and-a-half to two years. The same punishment is envisaged if the driver refuses a DUI (driving under the influence) test.

“The proposal is to replace administrative responsibility with criminal for repeat drunk driving and repeat refusal to take a DUI test within a year,” committee’s first deputy Vyacheslav Lysakov said.

The very fact of driving under the influence or refusal to take a DUI test envisaged several punishments, he said, listing among them a penalty between 200,000 and 300,000 rubles (almost $9,000), compulsory community service for a period of up to 480 hours, correctional labor for a term of up to two years or the same term of imprisonment.

All these sanctions are accompanied by a ban to hold certain offices for a period of up to three years.

If a person is killed in a road accident involving a drunk driver, amendments to the Russian Criminal Code envisage imprisonment for a period between two to seven years, and if two people are killed - between four to nine years.

If the bill is passed by the State Duma, approved by the Federation Council upper house and signed into law by the Russian president, it will go into effect on January 1, 2015.

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