|Saturday, October 23, 2021
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It’s that time of year again 

With Christmas and New year approaching there will be lots of parties, get togethers and family gatherings. Whilst this can be a very happy time of the year, drivers and pedestrians must be mindful of the dangers this season brings.

Of course, the most im-portant is to remember the age old saying “Don’t Drink and Drive” which is probably the most common known and used slogan at this time of the year. Some people are of the opinion that drink driving laws in Spain do not apply…… BUT of course they do. The levels of permitted alcohol in your blood system are very low so you should be aware that potentially one drink i.e. a local measure of a gin and tonic for example can very easily take you over the legal limit.

In Spain, you’re no longer considered fit to drive when your blood/alcohol concen-tration exceeds 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (or 30mg for drivers with less than two years’ experience and professional drivers). Of course, Alcohol plays a major part in a high percentage of road traffic accidents, especially those happening late at night. There are many factors that effect when one would be over the limit, these include you age, sex, weight and the amount you normally drink. The police carry out random breath tests on the side of the road and more so over the festive period, as residents will no doubt be aware.

It is important to note that drunk driving can result in fines of 1500 euros, loss of points from your licence or a suspension or in the worst case a period in prison. A driver who refuses to take a breath test can be liable to a prison sentence of 6/12 months and a loss of 6 points from their licence. It is interesting to note that the same rules apply to cyclists although of course loss of points does not apply!

Another thing to consider is that if you have an accident whilst under the influence of alcohol your insurance becomes null and void and the individual is then responsible for payment of repairs and damages as well as medical costs of the third party (where one is involved) and if a fixed object is involved i.e. a lamppost costs for repairs or replacement will be claimed by the Ayuntameinto against you.
So rather than saying “oh I’ll just have the one” have a nominated driver who refrains from drinking or take a taxi. That way you can enjoy your Christmas and potentially save yourself a lot of money and heart ache.
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our clients and readers.