Russia moves to toughen penalties for drunk driving

Wednesday 13th March, 2013

By Sonia Elks

MOSCOW, March 13 | Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:14pm EDT

MOSCOW, March 13 (Reuters) – Russia’s parliament gave preliminary approval on Wednesday to legislation aimed to curb drunk driving by sharply increasing penalties.

The bill was introduced after a man who had been drinking ploughed into a bus stop in Moscow in September and killed seven people, five of them teenagers from a state home for disabled children, prompting calls for tougher legislation.

Drunk drivers kill more than 2,000 people and injure some 18,000 every year in Russia, Irina Yarovaya, the Duma deputy from President Vladimir Putin’s dominant United Russia party who proposed the law, told legislators.

Under the bill, which was overwhelmingly approved in the first of three votes in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, Russians caught driving under the influence of alcohol could be fined up to 30,000 roubles ($970).

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