Page last updated at 12:19 GMT, Thursday, 24 December 2009

Medvedev plans drink-driving crackdown

Moscow traffic
Road accidents are common on Moscow's busy streets

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has announced a zero tolerance policy on drink-driving - a major cause of death among Russian men.

"I believe that consuming alcohol before driving should be banned," he said, speaking live on Russian TV.

"I will make corresponding amendments to the law."

Heavy drinking and related traffic accidents are seen as one of the main reasons why one in three Russian men dies before retirement age.

In a wide-ranging end-of-year interview, Mr Medvedev said "we are not ready yet for allowing consumption of alcohol - even small, limited amounts of it - before driving."

"We are not very accurate drivers as it is, and after a glass people completely lose their heads. Besides, we do know how people (in Russia) usually drink: a glass at first - that is allowed now, isn't it? - then two, and three, and finally 'okay, let's roll'."

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