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Putin: We will have to toughen punishment for drunk driving

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Sept. 25, 2012, 6:21 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

Russia will have to make the punishment for drunk driving more severe than it is now, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
© AP

Moscow - Russia will have to make the punishment for drunk driving more severe than it is now, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. 

"We will have to toughen the law in this field," Putin said at a meeting of the presidential culture and art council on Tuesday.

"Just as the gates were opened - the gates of freedom - we began to think that absolutely everything was permitted. This criminal, or actually a killer, he said in a conversation with the investigators: 'I always do whatever I want'. The limits of freedom and responsibility and duties to society - they have been fully eroded, and some things need to be punished mercilessly," Putin said in referring to the September 22 car crash on Minskaya Street in Moscow, in which an apparently drunken driver rammed into a bus stop, killing seven people, among them five children.

Even so-called "fine-looking" countries severely punish those who commit acts aimed against society and the state, Putin said.

"If this is not done, such tragedies will occur regularly and everywhere. And we will certainly have to toughen the law in this field, because what we have formulated today just doesn't work," he said.

Putin noted at the same time that not only punitive measures should be stepped up, but it is necessary also to do "much subtler and fundamental work to upgrade the general cultural level."

"But we will also have to toughen things, at least in this area," he reiterated. 

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