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Alcohol-driven domestic crime on the rise in Russia

MOSCOW, January 24 (RIA Novosti) - Alcohol-driven domestic crime in Russia has leaped by one third in the past five years, the Interior Ministry's public order department said on Thursday.

"Almost one in three domestic crimes are committed in the context of alcohol abuse, and in the past five years the number of domestic crimes committed in a state of drunkenness has risen by one third," department chief Lt. Gen. Mikhail Artamoshkin said.

He said that measures to enforce alcohol laws use have proved ineffective, and that the problem is largely driven by rising consumption. At least 30% of alcohol consumed in the country is illegally produced, he added.

Russians drink on average 14-15 liters of pure alcohol per person in a year, substantially higher than in most other countries, Artamoshkin said. For comparison, average consumption in the U.S. is 8.6 liters per year.

A total of 5.6 million Russians were caught by police for drunk and disorderly behavior in public in the first ten months of 2007, and 2.6 million were arrested for drinking in public, he said.

A total of over 210,000 people were arrested for alcohol-related criminal offenses during the period.

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