Drunk-driving deaths reported lower this year

In the first half of the year nine fewer persons lost their lives as a result of drinking and driving, according to the Consejo de Seguridad Vial and the traffic police.

There were 22 vehicle deaths linked to alcohol, said the Consejo in a news release. In the first half of 2011 there were 31 deaths, the Consejo said.

The Consejo and its parent Ministerio de Obras Pública y Transportes credited a crackdown on drunk driving as a reason for the decline.

The Consejo noted that under the existing traffic law, drivers with an alcohol content of from .5 to .74 grams of alcohol per liter of blood face a fine of 360,000 colons, about $720. Above that amount, drivers face criminal action and possible prison.

The Consejo said that in the first half of 2012 1,132 drivers were remanded to the Ministerio Público for criminal action because they had a blood alcohol level of more than .75 grams per liter.

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