Medvedev: Drunken driving should be aggravating circumstance

Being under the influence of alcohol should be an aggravating circumstance for crimes and administrative violations committed by drivers, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

"Let's think about a construction in which being under the influence of alcohol will be a real circumstance aggravating liability, both administrative and criminal, that is, the very fact of being under the influence of alcohol should automatically create unfavorable consequences for violators," Medvedev said at a meeting on traffic safety on Friday.

Medvedev believes drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol and get into road accidents formally have no intention to inflict harm. "Yes, they probably don't plan to inflict harm on anyone from a legal point of view. They have no intention of killing someone, but they have a different intention: to drive under the influence of alcohol," Medvedev said.

"This is what thy do deliberately, and that leads to questions as to what punishment they should get," Medvedev said.

Drunken driving is now punishable by a fine in an amount of up to 5,000 rubles, he said. "Those who drive under the influence of alcohol were prepared to pay it from the start," he said.

Medvedev also backed the introduction of criminal liability for repeat drunken driving by persons who have lost their driving licenses for drunken driving.

The previous decisions on road safety are correct, but not sufficient, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said."We worked on that issue for two years. This doesn't mean the decisions that were made then were wrong, they were absolutely right, but, judging by what is now happening, clearly insufficient. Unfortunately, some 30,000 people get killed in road accidents every year. It's a terrible figure," Medvedev said at a meeting on traffic safety.Medvedev said he does not know if any other countries have the same death rate from road accidents, except for the countries where wars are going on.

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