Drink drivers face up to six months jail

1st October 2004, Comments 0 comments

1 October 2004, MADRID –Drink-drivers or those who are caught speeding could face six months in prison under changes to the law which came into operation Friday.

1 October 2004

MADRID –Drink-drivers or those who are caught speeding could face six months in prison under changes to the law which came into operation Friday.

Those drivers who test positive for alcohol could face jail terms of between three and six months as part of changes to Spain's penal code.

At present, drivers who have more than 0.25 milligrams of alcohol per litre of air are judged over the limit.  For drivers who take to the wheel as part of their jobs, the level is lower – 0.15 mg per litre of air.

If a judge spares a drink-driver prison, they could face fines of between EUR 110 and 550.

The penalties are more severe for drivers who have what is defined as a "high level of alcohol" in their blood or those who drive at a "disproportionate" speed.

They could even face up to two years in jail.

Drivers will also lose their licences for between one and four years and may also have to complete community service for between 31 and 90 days.

But what the new penal code does not make clear is when a driver who is over the limit could be jailed – or when they could escape this punishment and simply be fined.

Jaime Gil Robles, president of the Spanish Foundation of Alcohol and Society , said: "They have to distinguish between the imprisonable offence and that which is simply a matter of a fine. It all remains subject to a criteria administered by the police or the judge who takes the case."

The new code fails to specify which level of alcohol in the blood will mean a driver who is caught over the limit will be sent to prison.

Carlos Aranguez Sánchez, lecturer in criminal law at Granada University, said the tendency was for judges to impose fines and community service rather than prison sentences.

But the police have been told that drivers caught with more than 0.7 mg of alcohol per litre of air or 1.4 milligrams of alcohol in their blood, should face jail.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

 

 

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