Russian drivers are set to appeal to the Supreme Court over the recently signed legislation on a total drink driving ban that came into force on August 6, the head of the Moscow department of the Car Owners Federation said on Friday.
The new zero tolerance law forbids motorists from touching a drop of alcohol before sitting behind the wheel. The drivers were allowed the equivalent of a half-pint of beer until the new law came into effect.
The campaign against the controversial legislation was initiated by a lawyer, Lavrenty Sichinava, from the city of Kazan. He appealed to the Constitutional Court saying Russia's laws should not contradict those of the Vienna Convention, since Russia is a member of the UN Vienna Convention.
The Vienna Convention on road traffic permits the minimal amount of alcohol since it causes no harm to drivers' reaction or attention.
"Before the legislation had been adopted, we referred to the Vienna Convention, but received a response from Russian government and realized...the authorities will not pay attention to this," Sergei Kanaev of the Car Owners Federation said, adding the federation was preparing to file a suit in the Supreme Court.
The legislation is part of a larger campaign to cut down on the number of road accidents caused by drink driving, which, according to State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov, had made considerable headway in the past few years.
But critics say "idiot drivers" and bad roads are the main cause of accidents in Russia and that innocent drivers could be penalized by the new law since beverages containing small amounts of alcohol such as dairy products made from fermented milk (buttermilk) and bread-based kvass are popular in Russia and are detected by breathalyzer tests.
MOSCOW, August 13 (RIA Novosti)