Traffic police are ready to grab drunk drivers’ cars

Motorists might be interested to know that the traffic police and road safety officials have staked out plots of land where they can store cars that are confiscated under the traffic law.

Tracts have been designated in Pavas, Zapote, Alajuela, and Calle Blancos, officials said Thursday.

Today some 800 handheld alcohol sensors are being returned to traffic officers. They have been adjusted to the requirements of the new traffic law that has now gone into force with stricter limits.

For one thing, the new law sets a limit of 0.50 grams of alcohol per liter of blood for professional drivers and new drivers. For others, the limit is 0.75 grams. Motorists in excess of these limits will have their vehicle impounded, said the Consejo de Seguridad Vial. They also will face a criminal charge. There also are penalties for those professional drivers and new drivers who show 0.20 per liter of blood on the hand held devices. Other drivers face a stiff fine for alcohol content of from 0.50 to 0.75.

New drivers are defined as those with three years or less of experience behind the wheel.

Officials said they expect to do a big business in impounded vehicles.

The traffic law, which has gone into force, has been the subject of discussion in the legislature for two years as lawmakers tried to make adjustments on what some considered excessive fines. Fines now for five major categories range from 280,000 to 20,000 colons, or from about $570 to $41.

A previous news story listed the new penalties HERE!

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