On October 24, the law on confiscation of cars for drunk driving came into force in Belarus.

The confiscation falls within the criminal legislation, but only in case of repeated violation, and the driver will not be able to get back his car. Interestingly enough, the confiscation is also applied to cars, which are not the property of drunk drivers. The only exception includes car theft cases. Moreover, the innovation is applied to both Belarusian and foreign citizens.

"The norm is applied to everyone, without exceptions. According to the principle of time and place of a crime, the responsibility shall apply in accordance with the law of the country, where the crime has been committed," Prosecutor General of Belarus Aleksnder Koniuk declared.

All confiscated cars will be sold and earnings will be given either to the state or to victims of drunk driving. 

Ukraine has a similar draft bill on strengthening of responsibility for drunk driving by Volodymyr Oliynyk, but the documents stipulates for less severe consequences: driving ban for up to four years, doubled fines and confiscation of cars for drunk driving without licenses. However, unlike in Belarus, Ukrainian draft bill provides for selling confiscated car at an auction and returning the earnings to the owner.

ForUm has asked experts and MPs whether it is expedient to adopt the "Belarusian law" in Ukraine and whether it can help to stop traffic offenders on Ukrainian roads.

Bohdan Aganin, expert on road freightage:

- Considering that the major part of car accidents in Ukraine happens because of drunk driving, we do need to strengthen responsibility. Moreover, we should focus on public bus drivers. They often do not undergo medical control, but bribe and buy medical certificates. They come to work drunk or even stoned.  

Oleh Lyashko, non-factional MP:

- The Belarusians did good. They care about the health of citizens, and I think that if our parliament had supported my draft bill on life driving ban for drunk diving, we would have solved the problem in Ukraine as well. We had 5100 car accidents with lethal outcome last year. A drunk driver is a potential murderer. Unfortunately, some MPs of the parliament do not mind drunk driving themselves, that's why they refused to vote for my draft bill. 

Volodymyr Oliynyk, MP from the Party of Regions, author of the draft bill on strengthening responsibility for drunk driving:

- We have chosen less severe variant, because Ukraine is not Belarus. We have increase the term of driving ban from 2 to 4 years, doubled fines for violation of the ban and introduced the confiscation procedure. For the moment, confiscated cars will be sold at the auction and earnings will be returned to the owner. We will see how efficient the new rules are, and if they do not work we will strengthen the responsibility even more.

Vasyl Popik, chairman of the Professional Union of Taxi Drivers of Ukraine:

- I am often asked similar questions, and I always have the same answer: until we have the "untouchable caste" of drivers on our roads, any strengthening of responsibility, even death sentence, is useless.


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