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Duma Deputies Propose Prison Time for Repeat Drunk Drivers

State Duma members are proposing increased punishments for drunk driving, saying that repeat offenders should receive prison terms.

Deputy Vyacheslav Lysakov said reforms aimed at those driving drunk within a year of their license reinstatement could pass before 2014, Gazeta.ru reported.

Under the current law, repeated alcohol-related driving violations are punished by license suspension for 1 1/2 to two years. However, recently adopted amendments coming into effect Sept. 1 provide for a tougher punishment, a three-year license suspension and a fine of 50,000 rubles ($1,510).

Lysakov, a United Russia member and leader of the motorist movement Freedom of Choice, said that those looking for further reforms have not yet discussed new fines. He noted that the proposed changes will give judges flexibility in setting fine amounts or handing down prison sentences.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democratic Party has introduced a bill that would eliminate fines for driving in designated bus lanes from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., RIA-Novosti reported.

Driving or stopping in a bus lane at any time currently carries a fine of 1,500 rubles. In Moscow and St. Petersburg the fine is doubled.

In late March Moscow authorities decided to allow drivers to use bus lanes on weekends and holidays.

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