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Photo via Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

Over 600 drunk drivers arrested in Costa Rica

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Published on Monday, June 24, 2024
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

So far this year, from January to April, more than 3,500 DUI tests were applied by Traffic Police.

Of these, police identified over 687 positive DUIs with more than 0.75 grams of alcohol in their systems, according to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT).

These drivers committed the "A-Level" fine, meaning they were arrested and their vehicles were impounded. Drivers also have to pay a fine of approximately $700, plus a penalty of 6 points on their driving record.

When a driver is penalized with 6 points on their driving record, their driver's license is suspended. They are forced to retake the driving course and a score of 70 points out of 100 to renew their driverís licenses.

Also, police stopped and fined about 126 drivers with blood alcohol levels between 0.20 and 0.75 grams. They were not arrested but must pay the same $700 fine plus the penalty of 6 points on their driving record.

Additionally, over 149 drivers tested with a very low blood-alcohol level. They did not receive any sanction.

According to the ministry, the money generated by collecting the fines is used to cover the Traffic Police expenses, road safety campaign expenses, traffic sign maintenance and Red Cross aid among others.

This year the cost of fines for violating traffic regulations was reduced by 1.%. The rates were approved by the Court Superior Council, based on the Consumer Price Index.

As of April 2024, there were 156 deaths in traffic accidents.  Of these, 82 were motorcyclists (54%).

Police urge drivers to respect the law and avoid accidents. People can report any case of reckless driving to the 911 emergency line.

What is the drunk driving penalty in your country?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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