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Parliament passes tougher legislation

The Parliament of Romania has endorsed a law that may suspend driver’s licences for up to 10 years in DUI cases, and another one, forcing fugitives to cover their repatriation costs

Foto: pixabay.com
Foto: pixabay.com

, 15.05.2024, 14:00

 

The bill introducing tougher penalties for driving under the influence has been passed by the Chamber of Deputies in Bucharest, the decision-making body in this respect. The document also bans the postponement of prison sentences for manslaughter in DUI cases.

 

Once the new legislation takes effect, apart from the sentence drivers caught in traffic under the influence of alcohol or other psychoactive substances will also be banned from driving vehicles for a period of up to 10 years, as opposed to up to 5 years at present, explains the Social Democratic Senator Robert Cazanciuc, who tabled the bill.

 

The penalty will only apply for motorists caught driving with blood alcohol content of over 0.08, which is the level above which such infringements are treated as criminal offences. Moreover, when DUI traffic accidents kill people, the penalty will range between 15 and 25 years behind bars. Under the same law, drivers caught in possession of banned substances will no longer receive fines, but prison sentences.

 

The document amends the Anastasia Act, which took effect last year, and which introduces prison sentences without suspension for DUI-manslaughter. The law was named after Anastasia, a 4-year old girl killed in 2022 by a driver without a license. The list of high-risk drugs has also been updated to include 6 new synthetic substances.

 

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Deputies has also passed a law forcing fugitives that attempt to escape prosecution or prison to cover the judicial costs of their repatriation, more specifically, the expenses incurred by the government for their extradition.

 

According to the justice minister Alina Gorghiu, the costs for each person brought back to Romania to serve their sentences may reach as much as EUR 25,000, currently covered by the government, and the number of fugitives rises from one year to the next.

 

The law applies for persons subject to European arrest warrants and to those who have left the European Union and with respect to whom extradition procedures are in place.

 

The former mayor general of Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu, the former chief of the Directorate Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism Offences Alina Bica, the son of the Professional Football League president Mario Iorgulescu and prince Paul Philippe (grandson of the Romanian King Carol II) are just a few examples of high-profile fugitives who left Romania for countries like Italy and Greece after being sentenced in the country.

 

Romania has been struggling for years to bring some of them back to the country, but without success. (AMP)

Photo: pixabay.com
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