During the period of six months, the Police reported 10,391 DUI tests were performed on drivers, of which 16.4 % resulted positive.
- Ministry of Public Transport photo -

Published on Tuesday, July 13, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


This year, between January and June, despite the ban-on-driving rule, the closure of bars, stores and places to buy liquor at night, the traffic police reported 1,703 drivers that tested positive on the Driving Under Influence test, DUI.

During the period of six months, the Police reported 10,391 DUI tests were performed on drivers, of which 16.4 % resulted positive.

Drivers charged with positive DUI fall into two categories. Those who exceed the maximum allowed limits, resulting in jail and facing criminal charges. And those who reported below the maximum alcohol limit  resulting only pay a fine.

Of the total of registered cases, the vast majority, 1,251 were drivers who exceeded the maximum level of alcohol allowed by the law. They were taken to the cells of the Public Ministry to face a criminal case for the alleged crime of drunk driving.

And 190 of the drivers did not exceed the maximum levels of alcohol but they had to pay a fine of about $500 plus a penalty of 6 points on their driver's license.

The remaining 262 positive DUI drivers didn't receive a fine due to the low level of alcohol in their system, the police said in its report.

In Costa Rica, there are three main levels of alcohol for drivers according to the Traffic Law.

The highest level allowed is approximately 0.38 milligrams of alcohol or more. With this result, the driver will be taken to the cells of the ministry with a criminal charge, must pay a fine of about $500 and receive the penalty of 6 points on the license.

When a driver is penalized with 6 points or more, the person must take the driving test again to renew their driving license.

The second level is approximately between 0.10 and 0.37 milligrams of alcohol detected in the test. In this case, the driver will not be taken to the cells but must pay the same fine plus the 6 points penalty.

The third level is for drivers with less than 0.10 milligrams of alcohol detected. In this case, the law does not establish any punishment.

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What is the penalty in your country for drunk driving?
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