MOSCOW, February 14 - RAPSI. State Duma lawmaker Anton Belyakov has submitted a draft law aiming to reinstate an allowance of a 0.2 per mille (0.02% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)) level for drivers.
Belyakov noted that it was necessary to combat drunk driving, rather than punish innocent people because it is virtually impossible for any a person to test absolutely alcohol-free.
According to ICAP, International Centre for Alcohol Policies, blood alcohol content (BAC), also called blood alcohol concentration, blood ethanol concentration, or blood alcohol level is most commonly used as a metric of alcohol intoxication for legal or medical purposes.
BAC is usually expressed as a percentage of alcohol (generally in the sense of ethanol) in the blood. It is measured by establishing the ratio between overall blood volume (which on practice is replaced with body mass, since there is strict ratio between body mass and blood volume) and alcohol volume in the same sample.
While in USA and other countries BAC is measured by flat percentage system, in Russia "per mille" system is used, where instead of usual percent's, specialists use 1/10 of percent's.
A federal law abolishing the maximum 0.3 per mille (0.03 % BAC) level for drivers entered into force in August 2010. Prior to the law's enactment, drivers were considered sober if ethyl-alcohol content in their bloodstream did not exceed 0.3 grams, and if there was less than 0.15 milligrams in their breath.
Now, Russian drivers may lose their licenses for a period of up to two years if their bloodstream contains even trace amounts of alcohol.
Motorists have been highly critical of provision.
Any of Russia's 50 million drivers may suffer as a result of inaccurate breathalyzer readings or due to their body's specifics, the lawmaker said. Belyakov explained this had prompted him to suggest reinstating minimal alcohol-content levels permissible in drivers' bloodstreams. China, Norway, Poland, Estonia and Sweden all allow 0.2 per mille, he added.
Many developed countries allow even higher alcohol-content levels. 0.5 per mille (0.05 % BAC) is permitted in France, Germany, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Italy, while 0.8 per mille (0.08 % BAC) levels are allowed in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada and Ireland, Belyakov said in conclusion.