MOSCOW, June 17 (RAPSI) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill toughening punishment up to 15 years in prison for drunken-driving traffic accidents leading to death or injuries into law. The document’s version has been published on the official website of legal information.

The law practically equates drunken-driving accidents with intended killing. Amendments will be introduced into the Russian Criminal Code.

According to the law, if drivers under the influence of alcohol caused a road traffic accident that resulted in anybody’s grievous bodily harm, they would face community service for up to 5 years or imprisonment of up to 7 years.

Previously, these crimes are punishable by community service for up to 3 years or prison sentence of up to 4 years.

Sentence for drunken-driving traffic fatalities will be also toughened.

If there is one victim in such an accident, a driver, who caused it, would face imprisonment up to 12 years instead of current maximum term of 7 years.

In case two or more people die in a drunken-driving accident, a guilty person will face up to 15 years in prison. Currently, such crimes are punished with prison terms ranging from 4 to 9 years.

Sanctions for committing similar offences in a state of intoxication on railway, in the air, in the sphere of marine and inland water transport is expected to be toughened as well.

The lower house of parliament, the State Duma, passed the initiative on May 30. The Federation Council approved it on June 11.