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Latvia to introduce fines of up to EUR 3.1 million for DUI resulting in deadly accidents

Latvia is planning to introduce harsh penalties for causing deadly traffic accidents while driving under the influence of alcohol, including fines ranging from EUR 6,200 to EUR 3.1 million.

On Tuesday, the Saeima Sub-Committee on Criminal Law and Penal Policy endorsed amendments to the Criminal Code, drafted by the Ministry of Justice at the suggestion of Prosecutor General Juris Stukans, which would toughen penalties for drink-drivers.

The draft amendments provide for a fine as a mandatory additional punishment to another form of punishment for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, psychotropic, toxic or other intoxicating substances and related offences.

An appropriate fine would be imposed depending on the seriousness of the offence.

A fine of between EUR 1,860 and EUR 620,000 would be imposed as a mandatory additional penalty for driving a vehicle without a driver’s licence of the necessary category and under the influence of alcohol, drugs, psychotropic, toxic or other intoxicating substances.

An additional mandatory penalty of the same level should be imposed for driving or teaching to drive if the breath or blood test shows a blood alcohol concentration of more than 1.5 per mill or for driving or teaching to drive while under the influence of drugs, psychotropic, toxic or other intoxicating substances.

A fine of between EUR 1,860 and EUR 620,000 would also be imposed as a mandatory additional penalty for refusing a test for blood alcohol concentration or a test for the influence of drugs, psychotropic, toxic or other intoxicating substances if the driver has done so.

A fine of between EUR 3,100 and EUR 1.24 million would be imposed as a mandatory additional penalty for violations of road traffic rules or rules of the operation of vehicles committed by a person driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, psychotropic, toxic or other intoxicating substances and resulting in minor injuries to the victim.

An additional mandatory penalty of the same level would be imposed for violations of road traffic rules or rules of vehicle operation committed by a person driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, psychotropic substances, toxic substances or other intoxicating substances and resulting in moderate bodily harm to the victim.

A fine of between EUR 3,100 and EUR 1.24 million should also be imposed as a mandatory additional penalty for refusing a medical test for blood alcohol concentration or for being under the influence of drugs, psychotropic, toxic or other intoxicating substances or for leaving the scene after a road accident, in violation of the prescribed procedure, if committed by the driver of the vehicle which caused the road traffic accident resulting in light, medium or serious bodily injury to the victim or death.

A fine of between EUR 6,200 and EUR 3.1 million would be imposed as a mandatory additional penalty for violations of road traffic rules or rules on the operation of vehicles committed by a person driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, psychotropic, toxic or other intoxicating substances and resulting in serious bodily injury to the victim or death of a person.

A mandatory additional penalty of the same level would be imposed for infringements of road traffic rules or rules on the use of vehicles committed by a person driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, psychotropic substances, toxic substances or other intoxicating substances and resulting in the death of two or more persons.

If the fine is not paid, it will be replaced by imprisonment.

The amendments also abolish the possibility of community service as a penalty, as this is not an effective deterrent, according to the Ministry of Justice.

The changes also stipulate that the offence will no longer be punishable by a fine alone, but the fine must be applied as an additional punishment to one of the other forms of punishment provided for in the law.

The amendments are being proposed because an analysis of statistical information available to the prosecutor’s office has shown that existing punishments fail to achieve their objectives. The number of drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs still remains high, the ministry said.

Although the number of such offences has decreased by 60 percent, it is still high, the ministry notes.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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