Expatica news

Drink drivers to be targeted with new licence

15 October 2004

MADRID – A new driving licence which operates on a points system used in other parts of Europe was approved by the Spanish government Friday.

The Socialist government passed a draft law to introduce the new licence, which will be similar to the type used in Britain, France, Germany and Italy.

Spain is keen to cut the number of deaths on the roads.

The country has one of the worst road safety records in Europe, with an average of 5,400 deaths every year.

José Antonio Alonso, Spanish Interior Minister, said Friday the new licence will “compliment” the other sanctions for breaking driving laws.

Apart from losing points, drivers will also be fined if they break the law. 

Alonso added that he hoped the new licence would “change  the mentality of drivers” so they do not regard a driving licence as a “right for life but something which can be taken away if they do not respect society’s norms”.

The new licence will come in summer next year. All drivers will have 12 points, except drivers with less than three years experience who will only have eight.

Also drivers who were banned will get a back a licence with only eight points.

Each time a driver commits an offence, they will lose points. Offences carry different grades of points.

Fines will go up to EUR 600.

A driver can only get back his licence with 12 points if he does not commit another offence for three years.

Alternatively, they can go on courses to learn how to drive properly.

Drink-drivers will lose six points automatically if they are caught above the legal limit of 0.75 milligrams per litre of breath.

This is the same as drinking more than a litre of beer or two glasses of wine or spirits.

The same punishment applies to driving while under the influence of drugs, or if drivers refuse to submit to a breath-test for alcohol or are driving at more than 181 km per hour on the motorway or 136 km per hour on the dual carriageway or 81 km per hour in built-up areas. 

Drivers could also lose four points if they are caught after drinking two cans of beer or one glass of wine or a spirit; or are driving at more than 161kmh on the motorway, 130 kmh on the dual carriageway or do not stop at traffic lights or fail to show respect to pedestrians or police when asked to top.

The penalties for losing three and two points relate to speed. Drivers will lose three points if caught driving above 151kmh on the motorway and two points if stopped at more than 141kmh.

Another offence is driving while talking on a mobile phone, which could result in the loss of three points.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news