Ukraine: Drunk Driving

Global Voices Online
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

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

On Jan. 12, an 18-year old Odesite crashed his Toyota Prado into a Daewoo Lanos 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 (RUS) on 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. [...]



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...



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].



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


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.

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