A new proposal by the National Restoration deputy, Carlos Avendaño, aims to reform the Traffic Law so that drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol at any level are fined. Currently the Law does not punish when drivers have an alcohol level lower than 0.50 – 0.75 g per liter of blood, or 0.25 – 0.38 mg of alcohol per exhaled air. In the case of professional drivers, the limits drop to 0.20 – 0.50 g of alcohol per liter of blood, or 0.10 – 0.25 mg of alcohol per exhaled air.
“There are thousands of families who suffer the loss of a loved one, due to the irresponsibility of a driver. In 2012 I insisted on the importance of eliminating liquor from the roads, and statistics confirm that no type of consumption of alcoholic beverages should be endorsed at the wheel,” Avendaño explained.
Reform includes a fine of ¢ 280,000 and prison sentences
The initiative includes reforms to articles 117, 128 and 254 of the Penal Code, with the aim of making driving under the influence of any level of alcohol in your blood or exhaled air a punishable act.
This change is intended to fine with ¢ 280,000 to those who drive under the influence of alcoholic beverages. Likewise, it would be punished with a prison sentence of one to three years and the license would be disabled for up to seven years.
To those who cause the death of another person by driving in that state, the bill proposes to apply a prison sentence of up to 10 years; while those who injure a person for the same reason, will be punished with the disqualification to drive vehicles of all kinds for a period of one to three years, with a prison sentence of three months to three years.
“The legislation cannot pander the consumption of liquor, while thousands of families continue to mourn their loved ones, Costa Ricans do not have to walk in fear on the roads, compared to those who do not assume responsible driving. The driving license should not be accompanied by a drinking license,” said the legislator. In 2018, 2,066 drivers who were driving with blood alcohol levels higher than those currently allowed by law were arrested, and in 2019, 2,138.