Tougher DWI penalties in Russia road

Rafael Consunji sent me a link to this report:


Russia has announced the introduction of tougher punishments for drunk driving. A conviction could result in 15 years in prison and $16,000 in fines.  This is in response to the realization that Russia has one of highest road fatality rates in the world. And much of that is attributable to driving while intoxicated. (DWI) Prime Minister Medvedev, in a video blog, said the government would put forward legislation that would make the minimum punishment five years in jail if the driver is convicted of causing death while drunk. Drunk drivers who speed or jump red lights will face massive fines of 500,000 rubles ($16,000, 12,000 euros).  Interestingly, as has been found elsewhere, one apparent trigger for these moves was the death of a well-known celebrity, in this case an actress whose taxi was hit by a speeding car. Another well-publicized event involved a drunk driver who rammed a bus stop killing seven people including five orphans. Editor: Now we must wait and see if these laws will be enforced. I recall being told that tough laws don’t work because the police are reluctant to apprehend offenders knowing what the penalties may be and perhaps thinking that it could easily happen to them. As a former board member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, I understand how complex this question really is. Beforehand I was convinced it was simply a matter of making the penalties as tough as those described here.  Now I am not so sure and the evidence-base is confusing, to say the least.

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