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Sunday 21.10.2018 | Name days: Severīns, Urzula
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Number of bribes given by drivers has increased dramatically in Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThis year, more than 80 drivers have been caught in Latvia when offering bribes to police officers to avoid administrative penalties. Most of them are presented with community service punishments, instead of five years of prison.

De facto programme of LTV has concluded that the average Latvian driver who gives bribes is a man aged 30-40. The most often amount of bribes is LVL 20 for exceeding the speed limit. Some drivers often want to get away with administrative violations (crossing an intersection on red light or not wearing a safety belt) just LVL 5. Drivers who were caught for drunk driving often offer as much as LVL 100.

Head of Zemgale office of State Police Haralds Laidiņš says the largest bribe he had ever heard of was LVL 1,000. This driver was driving without a driver’s licence and was carrying contraband goods. Head of Road Crimes Investigation Office of Riga Regional State Police Natalia Kovaļa adds that “bribes are offered for every type of violation, especially the kind that may result in the prohibition to drive a vehicle for a prolonged period of time or if the person caught red-handed wants to avoid being punished.”

The number of drivers who get caught giving bribes has increased rapidly. Two years ago, there were 26 drivers caught in the act in the first nine months, last year – 61. This year’s nine-month result is 77. On top of that, their numbers continued to grow this September, exceeding 80 at the end of the month.

Sometimes, passengers offer bribes to police officers on behalf of their friends. They think they help their friends this way. Laidiņš believes such criminals should not be put behind bars: “These people are not your usual criminals like robbers, murderers or thieves. These people have gotten used to living in this society. His or her views on this world need to be changed.”

People are not put in prison for the first time they give bribes to police officers. However, they are still punished for their violations (monitoring, fines and community service).

Ref: 102.109.109.9313


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