Vol.19  No.0220 Wednesday Edition, February 20, 2019 Third news page
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Drunk drivers’ detentions decrease, said police

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Traffic Police report that, during the month of January, 13 percent of the drivers stopped tested positive on the breathalyzer test.

This figure is 3 percent lower than the average of positive tests during 2018.

In January, 211 drivers tested positive of a total of 1,602 tests made by police which equates to an average of 52 tests made per day.

Of the 211 drivers with positive tests, 148 registered an alcohol level above that allowed and were arrested and fined.

German Marín, director of the Traffic Police, said, "Unfortunately, in January one person died in a car accident that was related to a drunk driver."

Of the drivers arrested, 24 were fined for ˘ 318,950.69 (about $ 523.74) and received 6 points on their licenses.

The Traffic Law mandates that drivers with a record of 6 or more points in the license must take a road re-education course and have to pass the test with a score of at least 80 to be able to renew a license.

In the event that a novice driver (who had a license for the first time) is arrested for drunk driving, he is equally fined and penalized with 6 points accumulation on his license.

That driver, however, suffers an additional penalty and loses the right to drive for one year. After that year of suspension, he must take the road re-education course to get a new license.

The police also registered 39 drivers who tested positive for alcohol consumption but whose tests were within the parameters allowed by law. In these cases, the officers must allow the driver to continue on his route.

The transit police reported that, in November 2018, two people died in accidents related to drunken drivers. In December 2018 one person died linked to a drunk driver accident. This year, in January one person died on a car accident linked to a drunk driver.

In road accidents with other causes, the police report 32 deaths in accidents in January. This figure is lower than the January records of 2017 and 2018.

Traffic Police courtesy photo

In January, 211 drivers tested positive of a total of 1,602 tests made by police which equates to an average of 52 tests made per day.

German Marín, director of the Traffic Police, said that in " January 2018, 35 people died, while in January 2017, 45 died. That means that traffic deaths in January 2019 were 8.5 percent fewer than in 2018 and 29 percent fewer than in 2017."

"As always, our goal will be that no one dies on the road, but it is clear that it is impossible, so we must feel at least relieved when we manage to reduce the number of deaths compared to the immediate past months, for example," said Marin.

The police have increased the presence of officers near schools to monitor and take action in cases of speeding, improper parking, the overcharge of vehicles, children traveling without protection devices or children under 5 years old on motorcycles.

According to traffic police statistics, the main cause of death due to road accidents is driver error or recklessness driving, speeding is the second cause, and crossing into the opposite lane is the third cause of death.

Police report that 47 percent of the deaths occurred due to motorcycle accidents.

Have you ever had a bad experience while driving in Costa Rica? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to: news@amcostarica.com

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