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21 Jan, 2014 19:18

Police suspend Russian driver's license for 106 years over drunk driving

Police suspend Russian driver's license for 106 years over drunk driving

A Russian man’s right to drive has been suspended for a record-breaking 106 years. Police issued the punishment after the man was pulled over for drunk driving.

Traffic police in the city of Perm, located in Russia’s Urals, suspended the man’s license to prevent him from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated in the future.

The man was stopped when police detected a car driving suspiciously few meters away from a police checkpoint. No tests were needed to establish that the man was drunk. Though the case took place back in December, it has only now become public.

It has been established that the driver has driven under the influence of alcohol many times in the past. This is not the first time his license has been suspended.

“Such a huge term is not just because – this is the sum of all driving license suspension rulings ever issued to such a driver,” local traffic police spokesman Vladimir Vasenin told ITAR-TASS news agency.

There are about 10 people across the region whose driving licenses have been suspended due to drunk driving. Their terms of suspension vary from 80 to 102 years.

“There are some people whose licenses have been suspended for 100, 102 years, for 106, i.e. the person’s driving license suspended for life for DUI. What would stop him from getting behind the wheel while drunk? Before that there was at least something he was afraid of,” head of regional traffic police, Oleg Churkin, said during a press conference.

Those who have had their licenses suspended have the right to appeal and ask for shortened terms. However, according to police, this has never happened.

Instead, the majority of drivers simply sell their cars and never drive again.

An average of between 40 and 70 drivers are stopped for drunk driving in the Perm area every day. Police say this shows that increased fines – now 30,000 rubles (almost US$1,000) – do not stop drivers from violating the law.

In June 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving. Drivers are now declared drunk if they exhale 0.16 mg or more of alcohol per liter of air into a breathalyzer.

Prior to this, Russia exercised a dry driving policy. In 2010, then-President Dmitry Medvedev imposed a total ban on alcohol consumption by drivers.