If you think laws in Scottsdale and Arizona are tough on those who drive under the influence of alcohol, you're right. But they're not as tough as the newly enacted drunk driving laws in Belarus.
The small country to the east of Poland and the west of Russia recently began enforcing a law that enables it to confiscate and sell the vehicle of anyone convicted of DUI.
The first person sentenced under the new law is a 28-year-old man who was apparently driving a car that didn't belong to him. Perhaps it was on loan from a friend or family member. Regardless, he was driving someone else's car when he was pulled over for drunken driving; that car has been confiscated by the government and is due to be sold.
The government doesn't care that the vehicle doesn't belong to the offender. "The ownership of the vehicle is of no legal relevance," it stated.
The man convicted of DUI faces punishment that includes more than an upset (and vehicle-less) friend or family member: he will have his driver's license suspended for three years, he must complete one and a half years of community service, pay a fine of more than $1,000 and could see 20 percent of his paychecks withheld by the government as well.
The law cracks down on drivers who have had two offenses within six months. The 28-year-old had apparently had a similar violation two months earlier.
Since the law went into effect in October, more than 110 people have been arrested on their second DUI violation within six months, making them eligible for similarly harsh sentencing.
Now Belarus neighbor Russia is considering a similar crackdown, according to a report.
So the trend toward increasing punishments on those accused of DUI continues both in the U.S. and abroad.
Our punishments are tough, too, including jail time, fines, loss of driver's license, and then an installation of an ignition interlock device when driving privileges are restored.
Anyone facing that long list of potential punishments should speak with an experienced DUI attorney who can help defend freedom, rights, driving privileges and finances.
Source: RT.com, "Belarus begins confiscating and selling vehicles of drunk drivers, Russia looks to follow," Nov. 16, 2013