If you plan on taking in the Russian winter olympics, you may find their DUI laws are far more lax than are the DUI Penalties here in Columbia, South Carolina. While Russia may be known for its quintessential Russian vodka created for the most discerning taste, the time may have come to re-think the widespread use of alcohol in this country best known for Sputnik, ballet, and cold weather. DUI laws have historically been less stringent than those in other countries, with citizens racking up numerous charges, only to receive the equivalent of a wrist slap. DUI in Columbia, S.C. Sure doesn’t look like this!
Take the recent case of a Russian man whose driver’s license was recently suspended for a record-breaking 106 years. According to police in the city of Perm, the man’s license was suspended to “prevent him from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated in the future”. Really? His Driver’s License would surely be suspended in South Carolina! The man was stopped when police detected a car driving erratically a few feet from a police checkpoint. It was not the first time his license had been suspended.
Around 10 people in this area of roughly 900,000 people whose driving licenses have been suspended due to drunk driving have lost their licenses for similarly lengthy terms. “There are some people whose licenses have been suspended for 100, 102 years, for 106, i.e. the person’s driving license suspended for life for DUI. What would stop him from getting behind the wheel while drunk? Before that there was at least something he was afraid of,” the head of regional traffic police said during a press conference. Really?
An average of between 40 and 70 drivers are stopped for drunk driving in the Perm area every day. Police say this shows that increased fines – the equivalent of $1,000 – doesn’t seem to stop drivers from violating the law. Instead, the majority of drivers simply sell their cars and never drive again. Jail time, anyone? They should learn some lessons from the DUI Fines in South Carolina.
Interestingly enough, it was as recent as June 2013 that Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving. (Thank goodness he conjured up a new zero-tolerance policy: Against Russian homosexuals. I know, right?) Drivers are now declared drunk if they exhale 0.16 % (compare this to .08% in South Carolina) into a South Carolina breathalyzer test, understand? After a car crash in the Russian city of Yaroslavl, a drunken man continued to drive as if nothing had happened. The driver completely ignored the fact that the Toyota Corolla he was driving had been nearly torn into two and a passenger in the backseat was dead.
On a Saturday morning, two co-workers arrived at work still drunk from a drinking binge the day before. Because their supervisor told them to go home and sleep off the intoxication, the two drove away in an old Toyota rather than looking for public transportation. After speeding and reckless driving, the 36-year-old driver made no crashed into the front of a small bus loaded with passengers.
While the bus sustained extensive damage, no one was killed except the passenger in the car. The rear part of Toyota, however, was torn off the chassis. The driver was so drunk that he continued to drive down the road, eventually colliding with a Subaru at a crossroad. After viewing the remains of the car, it is nothing short of miraculous that the heap of metal was actually able to continue driving.
Police officers found that the man was so drunk he could barely walk, let alone drive a car. The driver was toxicologically examined, interrogated, and was unbelievably allowed to go home. Again, jail time? Anybody with me? The man was later jailed for 15 days and his driver’s license suspended for 18 months.
Still, what really bewildered experienced police officers were the remains of the car, that continued to drive despite looking like a pile of metal scraps, with reportedly only one detail remaining fully intact – the driver’s seat. To Bubba Cromer DUI attorney, what is really bewildering is law that will actually allow this man to get behind the wheel of a car in 18 short months. It’s a good thing South Carolina DUI laws are far tougher!
Here’s to the Russians.
J.L. Mann (Bubba) Cromer is an Attorney in Columbia, whose practice focuses on DUI Defense, Criminal Defense & Probate Administration and Estate Planning. Admitted to practice in South Carolina, California & The District of Columbia, “Bubba” has been in practice for 26 years. In addition to his Solo Practice at Cromer Law Offices, LLC, Bubba Served as the only true Independent In the S.C. Legislature from 1990-1998. For the past 16 years, he has Served as the Reading Clerk of the House. Bubba resides in Columbia, S.C and Rosman, N.C. where he built a cabin 4 years ago.