Today, on December 15, the State Duma adopted in the second reading a bill, according to which the system of sobering-up centers will be restored in Russia. The final reading of the document is scheduled for December 22, and if approved, the famous legacy of the Soviet era will return to Russia in 2021.
According to the bill, the responsibility for the creation of sobering-up centers will be assigned to the regional authorities, which have the right to independently assess the need for such a medical facility on their territory. However, the rules for organizing sobering-up centers, their rights and responsibilities and duties will be the same for all subjects of the federation.
It is noteworthy that sobering-up stations will not be included in the system of the Ministry of Health and will be created on the basis of a “public-private partnership”, which will make it possible to charge fees for services from people who have entered such an institution. The degree of intoxication of a person for making a decision on the direction to the sobering-up station will be determined by doctors.
State Duma deputy Alexander Khinshtein was one of the initiators of the bill. He recalled that the system of medical sobering-up stations was abolished in 2011, which led to an increase in “drunken crime.” The deputy referred to the data of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, according to which the number of crimes committed while intoxicated increased by 35% from 2011 to 2018. The number of attacks on drunken Russians also increased. The sad statistics of mortality from hypothermia speaks in favor of the sobering-up centers – 8-10 thousand citizens die every year in Russia, who froze to death on the street in a state of alcoholic intoxication.
“The most important thing is to preserve life and health so that a drunk person does not freeze to death or fall into the hands of criminals,” said Valery Ryazansky, first deputy chairman of the Federation Council committee on social policy.
Attempts to revive the system of sobering-up stations have already been made in some regions of Russia in 2017, the Moscow City Duma sent a proposal to the mayor’s office to create a system of temporary detention facilities for drunk citizens. In 2018, the Ministry of Internal Affairs drafted amendments to the Law on Police, which empowered police officers to take drunk people to sobering-up centers.