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Drink-driving to be criminalised

GETTING behind the wheel after consuming alcohol will be classified as a criminal offence if a proposal presented by Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic on March 9 becomes law.

GETTING behind the wheel after consuming alcohol will be classified as a criminal offence if a proposal presented by Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic on March 9 becomes law.

“Alcohol [while] at the wheel is an extraordinarily dangerous combination,” Lipšic said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “A driver who has been drinking and sits behind the wheel turns the vehicle into a weapon which could potentially kill human lives.”

The minister proposes over one promille of alcohol in blood (0.001) as the level at which a driver might be sentenced to up to a year in prison. If a driver is caught drinking and driving three times his or her driving licence will be permanently revoked, Lipšic said, if less than 10 years elapse between the individual offences. If a driver is prohibited from driving twice due to alcohol consumption it will not be possible to reduce the duration of the second suspension.

The draft also introduces granting driving licences to 17-year-olds who would be restricted in the first year to only driving under the direct supervision of another driver with at least 10 years’ experience. The draft also proposes increasing fines for not stopping at a pedestrian crossing.


Lipšic proposes that the amendment wil become effective in September 2011.


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