Drinking and driving banned in Russia

MOSCOW, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- A new zero-tolerance drinking and driving law is in effect in Russia, forbidding drivers from touching even a drop of alcohol before driving, officials said.

The measure, passed by the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, July 2 and signed by President Dmitry Medvedev July 23 went into effect Friday, RIA Novosti reported.


Previously, motorists could drive with an alcohol level equivalent to a half-pint of beer.

Critics of the law said "idiot drivers" and bad roads, not drunk drivers, are the main causes of accidents in Russia.

The new law could also penalize innocent drivers, critics say, since beverages containing small amounts of alcohol such as fermented dairy products -- like buttermilk -- are detected by Breathalyzer tests.

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