Monday, 14 August 2023, 17:42
Guardia Civil traffic officers will be out in force on the roads of Spain this week particularly targeting drivers who have consumed alcohol or used drugs.
It comes as the Directorate-General for Traffic's (DGT) latest campaign aims to raise awareness that the only safe level of alcohol is 0.0%.
According to 2022 data, more than half (51.9%) of the drivers killed in accidents that year tested positive for alcohol, drugs or psychotropic drugs, alone or in combination, some 2.5% more than the previous year.
There was also a spike in road crime last year, which resulted in almost 60,000 convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, the highest figure in history since the reform of the Penal Code, according to the DGT.
The DGT's new campaign, which runs until 20 August, will involve increased surveillance on roads and will come down hard on drivers who have consumed alcohol, or abused drugs. Different checkpoints will be set up on all types of roads and at any time of the day, as part of the operation.
The maximum permitted alcohol levels for driving are 0.5 g/l blood alcohol content and 0.25 mg/l breath alcohol content for general drivers, and 0.3 g/l blood alcohol content and 0.15 mg/l for professional drivers.
The penalty for driving under the influence of drugs is 1,000 euros and the loss of six points. If you drink alcohol, the fine is 500 euros and the loss of four points if the rate is between 0.25 mg/l and up to 0.50 mg/l; and if the rate exceeds 0.50 mg/l in exhaled air, it is a 1,000 euro fine and six points. In the case of a repeat offence, the fine will also be 1,000 euros and the loss of between four and six points, depending on the level of the offence.
Testing positive for alcohol and/or drugs can also lead to imprisonment. In the case of intoxicants, narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, you could be jailed for up to three or six months or community service of 30 to 90 days, as well as the stripping of the right to drive for one to four years, may be ordered.
A driver with a breath alcohol level of more than 0.60 milligrams per litre or a blood alcohol level of more than 1.2 grams per litre, could lead to a fine, or community service of 30 to 90 days, as well as having their licence stripped for one to four years, or three to six months' imprisonment.
In both cases, if the driver refuses to undergo testing, the prison sentences can be increased from six months to one year, as well as being disqualified from driving for more than one, and up to four years.
The DGT wants to raise awareness that, even with blood alcohol levels within the legal margins, the risk of causing an accident is still possible. For this reason, 0.0% is the only safe limit.
La Voz de Cádiz
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