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2 years in prison for drivers with 0.1 blood alcohol level.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Drivers caught with a 0.1 blood alcohol content (BAC) and over will face a two-year prison sentence according to a bill proposed by the ruling and opposition parties on Thursday.

The proposal for the bill was submitted to a sub-commission under the parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) on Thursday. Starting debate over the proposed bill on the same day, the parliamentary sub-commission approved the bill, which was sent to Parliament on Thursday.

The bill includes various deterrent measures to prevent individuals under the influence of alcohol from driving and causing traffic accidents. According to the bill, drivers caught by traffic police with 0.1 BAC and drivers who refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test used to determine blood alcohol concentration may be punished with a term of two years in prison. The bill, if is approved by Parliament, will also give traffic police officers the power to suspend the driver's licenses of those caught with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 and over.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, alcohol addiction among the general population is about 0.8-0.9 percent and between 1.8-1.9 percent among men. Six percent of traffic accidents every year are caused by drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. Each year, the driver's licenses of approximately 70,000 people are suspended due to drunk driving. The Ministry of Health launched an action plan in March in a bid to reduce the consumption of alcoholic beverages, particularly among young people under the age of 18, in the next five years.

In an effort to decrease the number of traffic accidents caused by drunk drivers, the ministry plans to suggest a ban on selling alcohol at gas stations. The ministry will also draft a new regulation preventing alcoholic beverage companies from sponsoring young people's sporting events.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:May 17, 2013
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