Drunk driving takes step toward criminal liability in Latvia

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On April 26, the Saeima Legal Affairs Commission decided to direct amendments to the Criminal Law for consideration in parliament, with which it is planned to criminalize the responsibility for driving if the blood alcohol concentration found in the breath or blood test exceeds 1.5 promille.

As explained by the Ministry of Justice (TM) to LETA, the amendments will apply to driving all types of cars, tractors and other vehicles, trams, trolleybus, motorcycles and other motor vehicles with the exception of vehicles with an internal combustion engine with a capacity of less than 50 cubic centimeters.

Bicycles, scooters and mopeds will not be covered by this provision in the Criminal Law.

Criminal liability is also intended to be imposed on driving or teaching to drive under the influence of narcotics, psychotropic, toxic, or other intoxicating substances. In this case, it is not intended to determine the quantity or level of influence of these substances, noted in the bill's annotation.

It is planned that the infringement will be subject to a period of imprisonment of up to one year, temporary deprivation of liberty, probation supervision, community service or fines, minus the right to drive a vehicle for a period of five years.

For legislative amendments to enter into force, they will have to be viewed by Saeima in three readings.

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