Tráfico will be carrying out one of its regular national drink and drugs campaigns between today and Tuesday, 15 August, a weekend that’s a long public holiday in Spain. Readers regularly comment that it’s about time they did something about the issue, but of course they police this all year round, and these are just specific additional campaigns. Drivers can therefore 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 reminds drivers that there are strict alcohol limits in Spain of 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. Although there’s not a zero limit with alcohol, there is an absolute one with drugs, where even the slightest trace in a driver’s saliva test is an offence.
Fines are €1,000 and a 6 point penalty for drivers who have double the permitted alcohol level, or who are second offenders. For first offenders, or those with less than double the permitted alcohol level, the fine is €500 and a 6 point penalty. Drivers who refuse an alcohol or drugs test are 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. Any drugs detected will result in a €1,000 fine and a 6 point penalty.
Vehicles of drunk or drugged drivers will be impounded if there is no other (sober) driver who can take control.