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No, the DGT does not want a universal alcohol rate of 0.0, although it recognizes that it is the second cause of fatal accidents

The new fines of the revised Traffic Law are already active. And beyond the use of the mobile at the wheel o la suppression of the margin of 20 km/h To advance, another of the great novelties is the arrival of a alcohol rate 0.0 for minor driversgiven the proliferation of these users at the hands of electric scooters.

With it, a well-known debate is fueled: the one that could extend to other motorists. In fact traffic already was raised four years ago for motorcyclists. But this possibility Pere Navarro has flatly denied itGeneral Director of Traffic, which refers to compliance with the current ones.

All this taking into account that in the last two years in which complete data is available, alcohol has been the second most frequent cause of fatal accidents.

The standard is therefore different than with the mobile or the margin to overtake in conventional, since the argument put forward in both is precisely the accident rate and fatalities.

Far from the zero rate, but the DGT warns that there is a risk even below the limit

Pere Navarro, in an interview granted to Servimedia, has been forceful in this regard. When asked if it will be the starting point for a general 0.0 rate, he has been categorical: “this will not be extended to other drivers“.

Your argument? “If we do not manage to consolidate compliance with the rates that are currently in place, it would be a flight forward to lower them to zero for all drivers.”

The truth is that Traffic, and specifically Navarro, has repeatedly eluded the general zero rate, which is present in other European countries such as Slovakia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary or Romania. “The great European references have the same rate as us. It is not about lowering, but about complying with what is established, “he already stated in 2018.

And this taking into account that the DGT itself has pointed out on many occasions the risks of add alcohol and driving in the same equationeven below the allowed rate.

In fact, they brandish as a false myth that driving with a rate below the limit does not entail more danger: “It’s totally false. Before 0.5 g/l of alcohol in your blood you can already see changes in your ability to drive. With 0.15 -0.20 g/l of alcohol in your blood, even below the legal limit, you will have increased risk of accident What if you haven’t had any alcohol?

Alcohol and driving

Regarding the alternations themselves, changes in behavior are indicated (for example, a feeling of false security or a decreased sense of prudence), a decrease in attention capacity, alteration of perceptive functions or slower decision-making and in reaction time, as well as psychophysical alterations.

Despite this, Navarro once again refers to compliance with the current rates, which are:

– General drivers: 0.25 mg/l in expired air or 0.5 g/l in blood.

– Novice and professional drivers: 0.15 mg/l in expired air or 0.3 g/l in blood.

Alcohol and accidents

Overturned car in traffic accident

Beyond the advice of the DGT and its effects on driving, the truth is that alcohol is still present in driving and in fatal traffic accidents.

In 2020 and 2019 it was the second cause in road accidents with deaths, just behind the distractions. And far from going down, she has increased: in 2020 was estimated as a cause in 27%, despite the fact that there were fewer trips on the road, compared to 24% of 2019.

AND in 2018was the third cause of fatal accidents, bringing together 21%.

On the other hand, if we compare the data from the two of the latest DGT surveillance campaigns, the figures have also risen slightly, with the number of breathalyzer tests carried out being similar.

In December 2021a total of 1,731 drivers tested positive in alcohol, out of the total of 148,422 tests carried out (including drugs), while in august last year 1,559 positives were estimated, with 150,858 drivers undergoing the tests.

And for example in these last two campaigns, the positives that exceeded 0.60 mg/l (which becomes considered a crime) were set at 224 and 250 respectively.

This is the 0.0 rate for minors: what vehicles does it include and what are the fines

Minors riding an electric scooter

Be that as it may, the only rate 0.0 that for the moment will affect drivers is intended to minorswho can drive electric scooters or bicycles (which do not require a driving license), but also mopeds and quadricycles (AM permit) and motorcycles of less than 125 cc (A1 permit).

Navarro states that it is a matter of coherence: “It seems consistent to me that if it is prohibited to sell alcohol to minors of age put the rate 0.0 to minors”.

Thus, with the entry into force of the new traffic lawin the text it has been added that:

Under no circumstances may the underage driver circulate on the roads with a blood alcohol level greater than 0 grams per liter or alcohol in breath greater than 0 milligrams per liter. (Article 14.1)

And what are the fines? Well, the DGT only indicates that the sanction is 500 euroswhich is the one that applies between 0.26 mg/l and 0.50 mg/l of expired air to all drivers or between 0.16 mg/l and 0.30 mg/l in novice and professional drivers.

But beyond 0.50 mg/l (or 0.30 mg/l in the case of the latter), the one that applies is 1,000 euros. We have contacted the DGT to clarify how it will be applied, and if there will be different scales for the amount of alcohol in the blood, as is already the case. We are waiting for the answer.

Would it make sense to establish the universal 0.0 rate?

If the DGT itself recognizes that even even below the legal limits affects the perception and reaction capacity of the driver, in addition to taking into account that alcohol is one of the main causes of accident rates, it should make sense to impose the universal zero rate.

Not in vain, Traffic has used on several occasions the slogan “Do not drink and drive“, which became famous in that ad with Stevie Wonder as the protagonist in the 80s. A phrase that has been burned into the collective unconscious, lasting to this day.

It is also noteworthy that the main argument used by Pere Navarro to impose the 0.0 rate on minors is consistency because alcohol is not sold to minors, remaining as an administrative excuse. It does not refer to security terms, although it is understood to be the main background of the measure.

And it is that, after all, if a minimum consumption is being allowed, consumption is not totally dissuaded to get behind the wheel. Moreover, the DGT publishes a graph with the amounts and types of drinks that test positive or not depending on the weight and sex of the driver.

Graphic quantity of alcohol by type of drink DGT

Source: DGT

And although they keep reminding us that “it is always best not to drink if you are going to drive”, if the rate were 0.0 it would be much more effective if what is sought is to discourage drivers who drive having ingested alcoholic beverages.

This is done for example with drugs, being totally zero tolerance. The drogotest, based on binary results (positive or negative), detects the presence of substances in the body regardless of the amount, and even if some time has passed since the last time it was consumed (it varies according to the substance, since some remain several weeks as in the case of cannabis).

In other words, if it tests positive, there is always a sanction regardless of the amount, because Traffic understands that it always poses a danger to road safety.

And also in his case, the maximum penalty applies: 1,000 euros and six points on the card, in addition to being considered a crime against trafficwhich involves prison sentences and various penalties, the withdrawal of the driver’s license for up to four years.

In Motorpasión | Yes, we can be fined for driving while smoking and this is why | Pere Navarro, director of the DGT, confuses radar detectors with inhibitors to argue the new fines

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