MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti)
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The Kremlin supports the idea of tightening criminal liability for impaired driving, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
Earlier in the day the ruling United Russia party said it will propose amendments to the law allowing harsher penalties for driving under the influence, including steeper fines, vehicle confiscation, lifetime driving bans and a custodial sentence for repeat offenders.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has also endorsed the initiative.
“We have had a series of gruesome traffic accidents recently; sadly, the absolute majority were committed by drivers who were highly intoxicated,” he said.
“We should consider introducing tougher criminal responsibility for these offenses.”
Seven people were killed and four injured when a car slammed into a bus stop in western Moscow on Saturday. The Toyota’s driver, a 29 year-old man, lost control of his vehicle at high speed, went over the curb and onto the sidewalk, killing five teenagers and two adults.
On Sunday two people were killed and eight injured when a minivan taxi collided with a car in southeast Moscow.
Five people were killed in a road accident in Russia’s Far East region on Monday.
Russia’s current criminal code only envisions a custodial sentence if there has been a fatality.
The current fine is a “paltry” 5,000 rubles ($160) and 15-day administrative arrest, explained Andrei Vorobyov, who leads the United Russia party grouping in parliament.
He added that that the fine should rise to at least 100,000 rubles, and said drunk driving should be treated as seriously as terrorism.
The Toyota Crown was travelling at nearly 200 kilometers per hour when it spun out of control. The driver was detained at the scene in a state of heavy intoxication. Police said he had drunk at least a liter of vodka within a short period of time.
A judge has ordered him to be taken into custody pending trial. He could get up to nine years behind bars if convicted.
The man’s driving license was suspended two years ago for speeding and only reinstated recently. He has also been repeatedly ticketed for speeding.
When Alexander Maksimov was taken out of his car he mumbled: “What happened?”
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