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No Penalties for Kefir Driving

Motorists can consume kefir and kvas without having to worry about the zero-tolerance policy on drunk driving, the country's top traffic cop said.

There is no scientific evidence that lightly fermented drinks lead to intoxication, but even if it does, such "endogenous alcohol" vanishes after a short time, traffic police chief Viktor Kiryanov told Interfax in an interview published Saturday.

According to new rules in effect since Nov. 1, police can only use breath tests to inspect suspected drunk drivers.

Kiryanov stressed that drivers who feel that they are treated unfairly can always demand additional tests at a clinic, and if they disagree with the medical results they can go to court.

The new rules have prompted fears that a new door will be opened to bribe-taking by the police.

The Federation of Car Owners, a motorist group, says that drinking a bottle of kvas shows a trace of alcohol in a breath test several minutes later.

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