Under a proposed new law, driving while drunk will be reclassified as a crime, Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic said at a press conference on Tuesday, March 8, after talks with traffic experts.
The ministry plans to introduce a 'three strikes and you're out' principle. "If the same driver is caught driving drunk three times, their driving licence will be taken away for life," Lipšic said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that this will apply if the driver is caught three times within a decade. Lipšic also wants the minimum driving age to be lowered to 17 (from 18), with minors being allowed to drive during their first year only in the company of a driver with at least 10 years of driving experience.
According to Lipšic, such a system is in place in Germany and has helped to reduce the number of traffic incidents caused by young drivers. If a driver is punished twice for a traffic offence, they will have to be re-tested. The new legislation also takes the protection of pedestrians into consideration: endangering pedestrians using a crossing will be a serious traffic violation, with offenders facing fines from €60 up to €300. The proposal is set to be submitted for ministerial comments this week and should go before parliament in May.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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9. Mar 2011 at 10:00