MPs who are involved in car accidents will no longer be able to refuse to undergo tests for alcohol (or other addictive substances) as of April, according to an amendment approved in Parliament on February 17.
The amendment was proposed by MPs Rudolf Pučík (Slovak National Party (SNS)), Ján Richter (Smer) and Jan Kovarčík (Movement for a Democractic Slovakia (HZDS)), the TASR newswire wrote.
If MPs refuse to be tested for alcohol following a car accident, it will be possible to punish them as ordinary citizens. MPs’ immunity currently extends only to their right to refuse to take a test, not to drink-driving - but it is impossible to determine whether they have been drinking before driving if they choose to exercise the right.
Miklós Duray, an opposition MP for the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) was the most recent MP to refuse a test for alcohol, after he was involved in a car accident in October 2008. He defended his actions by pointing out that nobody was injured. He had also refused an alcohol test after an accident in April 2006.
“I'm ready to vote for a proposal that would resolve the question of MPs’ immunity in parliament in the sense that it would apply only to their political activities,” Duray said after the accident in October. The SMK MP voted for the amendment on Tuesday. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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18. Feb 2009 at 10:00