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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ruling Party Backs Tougher Drunk-Driving Stance After Deadly Crash

United RussiaAndrei Vorobyov, leader of United Russia's faction in the State Duma.

United Russia is planning legal amendments to radically increase penalties fordrunk driving two days after an inebriatedmotorist killed seven people insouthwest Moscow, asenior party official said Monday.

"There should be radical increases inthe fines, we're not talking about 5,000 rubles [$160]. We will propose afine ofat least 100,000 rubles," Andrei Vorobyov, leader ofthe party's State Duma faction, told journalists, Interfax reported.

Five thousand rubles is thecurrent fine fordriving under theinfluence ofalcohol.

Theruling party will also press forlengthy bans andcriminal punishments forrepeat offenders, even if their driving doesn't cause casualties, Vorobyov said, adding that thematter had been discussed ata party presidium meeting.

"A mere 5,000 rubles anda misdemeanor charge, that's way too small," he said.

United Russia's faction head said party colleagues would present theplanned amendments tothe lower house "in theshortest possible time frame" andstressed that other Duma factions support United Russia's position.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Monday that "the events of the past week confirm the necessity of discussing this issue and adopting tougher measures," RIA-Novosti reported.

Adrunk driver plowed intoa bus stop inMoscow's southwest Saturday afternoon, killing seven andinjuring three.

Thedriver, identified inmedia reports as Alexander Maximov, 30, said he had been drinking fortwo days prior tothe crash. Maximov had his license confiscated in2010 fordrunk driving, andpolice only returned it tohim inMarch.

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