Vol.18  No.1217 Monday Edition, December 17, 2018
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U.S. Embassy employees respond
to the call for blood donation

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Employees of the U.S. Embassy responded to Social Security’s call for blood donations of any type in order that the reserves in the National Blood Bank will remain at a viable level, able to satisfy the usual and extraordinary demand of blood by hospitals during the holidays.

More than 40 employees volunteered to be blood donors, say the embassy, responding to Social Security’s call of, “ a voluntary act that saves lives."

The National Blood Bank states that this blood donation campaign will be active from Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 12 noon. Donations can be made in the clinic of the organization in Via 204 and Avenue 32 in Zapote.

Dr. Sebastián Molina, a specialist at the National Blood Bank, confirms that hospitals in the country are expecting a rising demand for blood in the coming days as a result of potential accidents. "The institution is making a special call for people to come to donate during the months of December and January,”  Dr Molina said.

People interested in donating must weigh more than 50 kilos, present a valid national identity card or residence card, be between 18 to 65 years old, be in good health, and eat a light breakfast before donating.

U.S. Embassy courtesy photo

More than 40 U.S. Embassy employees
volunteered to be blood donors.

According to the National Blood Bank, the goal is to supply the demand of the different hospitals in the country during the holidays, as well as to maintain the necessary stock of blood for any emergency.

Drunk drivers will be sent directly
to jail, said Attorney General

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Attorney General, in coordination with the traffic police, announced the implementation of new actions to detect and prosecute those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

According to Emilia Navas, General Attorney, any person who is arrested for the crime of reckless or drunk driving will go directly to prisons of the Judicial Investigation Organization.

"I have told the prosecutors throughout the country that the way they must handle in the cases of people arrested for these events will change, which means that the person driving after having consumed liquor or drugs will be arrested, transferred to cells of the judicial police, investigated and processed," said Navas.

Navas added that the investigation and processing means that all persons arrested for drunk driving will have fingerprints taken, will be photographed and identification information will be placed in a criminal file.

Prior to this, said Navas, the procedure was to record identifying information and then release the individual without opening a criminal file. Now, each drunk driver will be processed and a criminal file will be opened.

The changes will give each prosecutor the responsibility of analyzing each case and deciding on whether to ask for precautionary measures. This is already established in the Law.

"The prosecutors and traffic officers have decided to work jointly to strengthen their policies regarding the crime of reckless and drunk driving and we are aware of the seriousness of this criminal act and its consequences," said. Navas

According to German Marin, director of the Traffic Police,  they are increasing operations on the roads to detect drunk drivers. "The message we want to make clear is that, if you are going to drive a vehicle, you must be totally sober."

Marin added that  last year 458 people died accidents and so far in 2018, 415 people have died. There are multiple factors for each accident but include driving under the effects of liquor and drugs.

Navas confirmed that next year the prosecutor’s office will continue to work with the Traffic Department, the Judicial Investigation Organization and the police, in order to improve the reparation plans for damage caused, when the accused persons decide to submit to the application of an alternative measure.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo

All persons arrested for drunk driving will have
a criminal record.

Reparation plans for damages are donations or communal work done by drivers convicted of driving drunk. According to Navas, this alternative measure of punishment is not consistent with the seriousness of the facts and the consequences of this crime.

According to the Traffic Law, liquor consumption limits established in the Penal Code equate to a blood alcohol level of 0.75 grams if blood is drawn and 0.38 milligrams on the breathalyzer.

The penal code imposes a sentence of one to three years in jail for crimes such as reckless driving. This would include:

-Drives under the influence of alcoholic beverages, with a concentration of alcohol in the blood higher than 0.75 grams per liter of blood or with a breathalyzer test result of 0.38 milligrams per liter, in both cases for any type of driver.

-A blood alcohol level of more than 0.5 grams in a blood test or more that 0.25milligrams on the breathalyzer if the person being tested is a new or a professional driver.

This offense also applies in cases where the driver is under the influence of toxic drugs, narcotics, psychotropic substances or other substances that produce states of mental alteration and analgesic or depressive effects, according to the definitions, scope and characteristics established by the Health Ministry.

Coastguard helps British tourist injured at Flamingo beach

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The National Coast Guard Service reported that it had responded to an emergency call on behalf of a Welsh tourist identified as Ed Cole, 59 years old, who was injured in Santa Cruz in Guanacaste.

The rescue report stated that Cole was diving near Flamingo beach. When he returned to the tourist boat, he fell and hit his head while trying to board.  Cole hit his head hard and was bleeding heavily.

The Luis Diego Castro coastguard in the area responded to an emergency call from the tourist boat. They rendered first aid and managed to stop the bleeding.

They then coordinated ambulance service for Cole and transported him to to the Enrique Baltodano Briceño Hospital in the city of Liberia.

The emergency medical team of the Hospital reported that Cole was in good general health and left the medical center on his own.

National Coast Guard courtesy photo

  British tourist fell and hit his head while trying to board.


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