14 Aug, 2023 @ 14:15
1 min read

Drink drive crackdown launched on Costa del Sol this week as police ramp up patrols nationwide and warn of fines of up to €1,000 – but what is the legal alcohol limit in Spain?

Drink drive crackdown launched on Costa del Sol this week as police ramp up patrols nationwide and warn of fines of up to €1,000 - but what is the legal alcohol limit in Spain?
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AN ‘INTENSIVE’ week-long campaign has kicked off to crack down on drunk and drugged-up drivers in Andalucia and across Spain.

Officers from the Guardia Civil’s Traffic division will be stepping up checkpoints ‘on all roads at anytime of day’.

Over half of motorists who died in 2022 tested positive for alcohol, drugs and other psychotropic substances.

Overall last year, there was a rise in people convicted for driving under the influence of substances totalling just under 60,000- the highest figure since the reform of the Criminal Code according to the DGT traffic authority.

Alcohol limits are stricter compared to the UK and whether or not people are close to breaking the law will depend on their sex, build, and metabolism

So for men, a ‘tercio’ beer(33 cl) is safe, but two will take things to the borderline while two normal-size glasses of wine(100 ml) should be fine.

For women, a single ‘tercio’ is safe along with one-and-a-half normal glass sizes of wine.

The maximum permitted alcohol levels is 0.5 grams per litre following a blood test which equates to 0.25 milligrams per litre of air exhaled.

Professional and novice drivers have even lower limits coming in at 0.3 grams in a blood test- the equivalent of 0.15 milligrams per litre of air exhaled.

Spain operates a tariff system for fines and points withdrawal on driving licences for motorists that fail alcohol tests.

A €500 fine and a four point deduction applies for alcohol rates between 0.25 and 0.50 miilligrams per litre of exhaled air.

The penalty doubles to €1000 and six points if the offender if above the 0.50 mark and no more than 0.60, while a repeat transgression also nets a €1000 fine in addition to licence points deductions.

Matters get more serious if a motorist is found to be over 0.60 milligrams of exhaled air with a range of sanctions including bigger fines, community service, losing a driving licence for between a year and four years, and prison terms starting at six months.

The DGT says that even with blood level margins within legal parameters, the risk of causing an accident still rises and recommends 0.0% as the only safe rate.

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