Tráfico has announced a national drink and drugs campaign this week, lasting until Sunday. Drivers can expect to see extra control points in addition to normal policing of drink- and drug-affected motorists. Police say that some 25,000 control checks will be carried out daily, on all types of roads.
Tráfico reminded drivers that although there is a misperception that there is a zero alcohol limit for drivers in Spain, the actual limits, which are strict, are 0.5 grams of alcohol per litre of blood = 0.25 mg per litre of exhaled air (slightly stricter for “professional” and newly-qualified drivers – 0.3g/l). As a general guide, two small glasses of wine or one small can of beer reaches the limit for a man of average build and weighing around 12 stone.
Fines are €1,000 for drivers who have double the permitted alcohol level, or second offenders: there will also be a 6 point penalty; for first offenders, or those with less than double the permitted alcohol level, the fine is €500 with a 6 point penalty. If a driver refuses an alcohol or drugs test, s/he will be committing a further offence under article 383 of the Código Penal which can be penalised with a prison sentence of between six months and a year, and a driving ban of between one and four years. (First offenders won’t be imprisoned). This is in addition to an automatic maximum €1,000 fine as though the driver had tested positive with double permitted alcohol level. Vehicles of drunk drivers will be impounded if there is no other (sober) driver who can take control.
Although there is not actually a zero tolerance to drink driving, there is one when it comes to drugs. If a driver’s saliva test demonstrates the presence of any drugs at all, the fine is €1,000, plus a 6 point penalty.