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Ukraine: Drunk Driving

Categories: Eastern & Central Europe, Ukraine, Governance, Law

Taras of Ukrainiana reports [1] on a deadly car accident that took place in Odesa this month:

On Jan. 12, an 18-year old Odesite crashed his Toyota Prado [2] into a Daewoo Lanos [3] moving on the opposite lane, killing one person and wounding two others in an accident that involved a total of eleven vehicles.

[…]

When the police arrived, the 18-year old showered them with profanity and demanded his cell phone, saying his dad would fix things quickly. On his way to the precinct, the bad boy was escorted by a trail of luxury cars.

According to Dmytro Fuchedzhy, deputy chief of Odesa oblast police, the subject was DUI. Now hear this: The young man reportedly attends law school. He is also the son of a wealthy businessman who holds a seat in the local assembly under the wing of the Party of Pensioners. […]

The episode raised a firestorm of indignation at Ukrainian forums, with many netizens gloomily expecting the Odesa offender to get away with murder […].

[…]

Below is a selection of readers’ reactions to a story [4] (RUS) on Korrespondent.net news site about president Victor Yushchenko's proposal to raise fines for drunk driving to $270-$500. According to the publication, over 7,000 people died in car accidents in Ukraine in 2007.

Oleg Sevastopol:

Right, now we'll have to carry 500 bucks instead of 100 along with our driver's license. And the rest will stay the same. […]

***

iVeter:

Fines aren't going to intimidate those Subaru-driving idiots… As a rule, their parents have already paid all these fines a year in advance…

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Nekto:

It's all total crap! Drivers are the ones who's gonna suffer again. Ok, drunk driving is unacceptable, driver's license should be taken away for this altogether. But yesterday I was driving 120 [km/p] outside the city… my car is capable of doing 220, visibility is perfect, the road is empty and dry, why not? Well, [cops] stopped me… Naturally, I had to bribe them, and then, while I was still there, they stopped some jeep: a window opened and some IDs were shown, and after that the jeep continued on its way at about 160 [km/h]… Any questions??? […] It's not the issue of the amount of the fine, but of the inevitability of punishment, but we're unlikely to succeed here, because some are [more equal than others].

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voditel:

[…] It'd be great if they weren't selling driver's licenses for $700 at traffic police department [skipping tests and other formalities] […].

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from CA:

That a ridiculous fine.

My friend in California has been fined $300 recently for riding his bike along the bicycle path when the red light was on.

Another example – a $1,000 fine for throwing garbage out of your car onto the highway (that's a really good road that Ukraine's never gonna have).

And don't tell me about their salaries – for 90 percent of the population, this is a considerable amount of money.

And drunk driving is a criminal offense.