Russia to revive sobering-up stations in 2021


FILE PHOTO: A drunk man sits on a bed at a sobering-up station in Russia’s southern city of Stavropol, November 12, 2009. REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Tuesday that will revive sobering-up stations previously used to allow severely intoxicated people to recover.

Starting on Jan. 1, Russian law enforcement officers will be allowed to pick up drunk people with impaired coordination and cognitive abilities off the street and take them to sobering-up stations to let the effects of their alcohol consumption wear off.

One night at a sobering up stations will cost $20 on average, RIA news agency reported.

Sobering-up stations, which were used in Russia until 2011, were often equipped with rudimentary beds and staffed by medical personnel to monitor their occupants’ return to sobriety.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit Russians’ incomes, increased the unemployment rate, and driven a spike in alcohol sales.

Russians are among the heaviest drinkers in the world, though consumption has fallen sharply over the last two decades.

Reporting by Polina Devitt and Gabrielle TĂ©trault-Farber; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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