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Intoxication could be made aggravating factor

by Evgeniya Chaykovskaya at 11/01/2013 17:21

Lawmakers plan to return to norms of Soviet law and add a state of alcohol and drug intoxication to a list of aggravating factors for any crimes committed.

Currently, intoxication is only an aggravating factor in car accidents.

The bill has been published on the Justice Ministry’s website and has not been introduced in the State Duma yet. The ministry has consulted on the bill with the Health Ministry, the Supreme Court and various law enforcement agencies.

The Justice Ministry argues that with the number of crimes committed under intoxication rising, the amendment to the Criminal Code will be aimed at curbing the wave and making people behave more responsibly when drunk.

However, according to the project, “the judge that hands down the sentence, depending on the nature of the crime, could opt not to consider this an aggravating factor.”

Intoxication has been an aggravating factor for drivers since 2009, but a recent surge in car accidents caused by drunk drivers has shown that an extra year added to a possible sentence is not stopping people, Kommersant reported.

Communist Duma Deputy Yury Sinelshchikov, a member of the committee on the Criminal Code, said that “there is sense [in the bill] – it prevents people from wild behavior when drunk,” but added that it would be ineffective if judges could pick and choose when to use it.

“If there are no definite criteria and everything is decided by the judge, there will always be a possibility for corruption,” former judge and Communist Duma Deputy Vadim Solovyov told the paper.

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