Ministry of the Interior with a decision on the war on the roads: A fundamental change in the law

The Ministry of the Interior will propose radical changes in the legislation in an attempt to reduce accidents and casualties on the roads. This was understood from the words of Deputy General Secretary Stanimir Stanev to Nova TV. The occasion is another serious accident with a fatality, this time on the Sofia Ring Road a few days ago. Dimitar Lubenov, the driver of one of the cars, was arrested for this incident. He tested positive for alcohol and drugs, and a forensic examination found he was driving at almost 200km/h. The deceased was a French citizen, and two others were injured.

The case of Lyubenov is another one in which a person repeatedly punished for traffic violations causes an accident with a fatality. Just a few weeks ago, two young women were swept away and killed in the center of Sofia. Georgi Semerdzhiev was arrested for this incident. It was only after the accident that the Ministry of Internal Affairs started investigations and it turned out that for years there was a police umbrella over it. Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev said that about 40 employees were covering him up.

Now, however, the Ministry of the Interior is talking about a change in the principle of sanctioning aggressive drivers. This includes numerous changes in the legislation, which are being prepared by a joint working group with the Ministry of Justice, explained Stanev.

We have a problem with criminal decrees

We are trying very hard, putting all our resources out there to reduce the war on the road. We can brag about these results, but they are not what society expects from us“, said the Deputy General Secretary.

However, he acknowledged a long-standing problem that the department still fails to solve – the delivery of criminal decrees. There are cases of repeatedly fined people who did not receive the notification. Some penalties, such as revocation of a driver’s license and repeat offense within a year, include a prosecutorial investigation and prison. However, because of a non-servicing decree, the offender can claim that he did not know that he was punished, even though the police took his certificate. It was with such an absurd argument years ago that the prosecutor’s office refused to open a case against Semerdzhiev – he was not aware that he was committing a violation.

How the issue of non-delivery will be resolved is currently unclear. The law provides the so-called absentee service when the offender cannot be found, but this procedure is not particularly reliable.

Not to refuse a blood sample

The other big problem, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is the possibility of refusing a blood sample. This is spelled out in the Law on Road Traffic and Driver’s Rights, and in these cases his license is taken away. However, this removes the possibility of being prosecuted for a more serious offense. There are cases when the driver agrees to a sample after a few days, when it is already meaningless.

We propose that there should be no option to refuse a blood sample, now there is a procedure that is practically unusable and unenforceableStanev commented.

However, the forced collection of blood for research could hardly be passed as a legal change. The only option is, in case of refusal, to seek some administrative responsibility as at the moment, but with a heavier sanction.

They feel unpunished

Another proposal is to impose a limit on violations on the road, Stanev also said, in his words, the more serious sanction should follow the third violation.

They feel unpunished under the current legislation“, commented the deputy general secretary.

According to him, after exhausting the so-called there should be a license suspension or even a prosecutorial investigation.