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Authorities Mull Scrapping Zero Tolerance on Drunk Driving

Under the proposed amendments, Russian drivers would go unpunished if they register a minimal blood alcohol content when breathalyzed. Andrei Makhonin

Police and health officials are backing plans to scrap the country's zero tolerance on drunk driving after a pro-Kremlin deputy proposed amending current driving rules, a news report said.

Vyacheslav Lysakov, a State Duma deputy with the ruling United Russia party, told Vedomosti that he had received positive feedback from the Interior and Health ministries and that Dmitry Medvedev, under whose presidency the so-called "dry law" came into effect in August 2010, was open to discussing the matter.

Lysakov, who is also head of the Free Choice motorists' association, said the amendments would avoid sober, safe drivers losing their licenses, citing rules in Sweden that allow a blood alcohol content of 0.2 parts per million to go unpunished.

According to Vedomosti, which published its report Friday, scientists have proved that drunkenness sets in when the blood alcohol content reaches 0.8 ppm.

Alongside introducing a tolerance threshold, Lysakov is seeking criminal penalties for repeat offenders who drive when drunk or without a license.

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