Putin Proposes Tougher Penalties for Drunk Drivers

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed on Wednesday introducing tougher penalties for drunk drivers.

“I don’t remember whether we have penalties for committing crimes while being under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Let’s see what sanctions we have. They should be toughened,” Putin said.

During an address in Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, Putin urged lawmakers to make alcohol intoxication an aggravating circumstance.

In 2010, then President Dmitry Medvedev signed a bill enforcing a zero alcohol limit for drivers. The legislation prohibited drivers from getting behind the wheel with any amount of alcohol in their blood.

Russia has one of the highest numbers of road fatalities in the world. In 2011, 28,000 people died in almost 200,000 of traffic accidents. Drunk driving is a leading cause of accidents.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), traffic accidents kill more people worldwide than malaria, and are the leading cause of death for young people aged five to 29, especially in developing countries. Each year up to 50 million people are injured in traffic accidents globally.

By 2020, the UN hopes to reduce road deaths by 50 percent.


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