In a week-long campaign focussing on detecting drivers who had consumed alcohol or drugs, 2,328 drivers tested positive in checks conducted mostly by the Guardia Civil with collaboration from the local police forces.

alcohol

A total of 154,474 tests were performed during the week between the 14th and the 20th of December and of the 2,328 drivers who failed the test, 570 proved positive for drug use and 1,758 for excessive alcohol.

There were 152,795 breathalyser tests conducted, with 1,758 drivers proving positive. In the 1,679 drug tests performed, 34% of drivers subject to testing gave positive saliva tests. Cannabis and cocaine are still the drugs most consumed by drivers who tested positive.

The focus of the DGT to eradicate drivers who get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs with the intended aim of zero tolerance.

The maximum permitted rates of alcohol consumption when driving are lower in Spain than many other countries. In providing a sample of exhaled air, the maximum reading allowed is 0.25 mg/l for normal drivers, 0.15 mg/l for professional and novice drivers.

Depending on the reading given in the breathalyser test will determine if the offence is treated as an administrative infraction or as a crime.

Producing a 0.25 mg/l and 0.50 mg/l reading in the breathalyser test will result in the loss of 4 points and a 500 euro fine. Exceeding the limit with a result more than 0.50 mg/l in exhaled breath will result in the loss of 6 points and a 1,000 euro fine. For repeat offenders, the fine is automatically 1,000 euro, plus the loss of more points, depending on the severity of the reading given.

If the reading is 0.60 mg/l in the breathalyser, then the infraction is automatically treated as a criminal offence. This reading would result in imprisonment of between three to six months or a fine of six to twelve months or community service from 30 to 90 days, as well as the deprivation of the right to drive from one to four years.

Refusal to submit to testing will also result in criminal proceedings resulting in imprisonment for six months to a year and deprivation of the right to drive from one to four years.

In the event of having consumed drugs before driving, the penalty is imprisonment of three to six months or a fine of six to twelve months or community service from 30 to 90 days, and deprivation of the right to drive from one to four years.

Refusal to submit to testing will also result in imprisonment for six months to a year and deprivation of the right to drive from one to four years.

As usual in campaigns carried out by the DGT, the collaboration with local and regional police forces has been very important, since alcohol and drug controls were performed in both urban and interurban roads. Data from these sources during this latest campaign are still being processed and will be added to the final results in due course.

Although the campaign has ended, officers of the Guardia Civil continue to control the use of alcohol and drugs by drivers at any time of day and on any road in order to discourage this extremely dangerous activity.

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