As one of several Christmas campaigns, Tráfico will be checking drivers throughout the country for alcohol and drug levels between today and Sunday with some 20,000 control checks nationally every day. The Guardia Civil says that accidents always soar at this time of the year, with work parties, and private and public celebrations, and drivers are urged to drive safely and soberly, or watch out. The Guardia Civil is serious in wanting to bring down the number of deaths on Spain’s roads over the Christmas period, and so here are some details for driving legally:

  • the legal alcohol limit for drivers is 0.5 grams of alcohol per litre of blood = 0.25 mg per litre of exhaled air. 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. For drivers who have double the permitted alcohol level, or second offenders, the fine is €1,000 with 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.
  • although there is a low legal limit for alcohol, when it comes to drugs, the limit is zero. If a driver’s saliva test demonstrates the presence of any drugs at all, the fine is €1,000, plus a 6 point penalty, and police say that detectable traces can remain even six hours after consumption.
  • a driver who refuses an alcohol or drugs test is 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 €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.
  • The maximum and minimum speed limits on all sorts of roads for all sorts of vehicles, together with the fines imposed and points lost, are explained HERE.
  • The required child seats, plus rules on flipflops etc, are explained HERE.


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