DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS
Facts and consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and narcotic substances in traffic accidents
Alcohol, narcotics, and other similar substances have clear negative effects on vehicle driving, making it necessary to control and try to prevent people with this negative influence from participating in traffic, as it is the origin of a large number of accidents, in most of the cases with very serious consequences.
Alcohol-related traffic accidents
Regarding alcohol, it is unquestionable that it not only significantly increases the possibility of suffering an accident, but also aggravates its negative consequences, increasing the possibility of suffering or causing serious, very serious, or fatal injuries.
Alcohol is present in a greater proportion of accidents classified as serious in relation to minor accidents, making it evident that the level of risk assumed and the lack of ability to respond to traffic circumstances play a very relevant role in the severity of accidents. accidents in which alcohol involvement is detected.
This incidence is not only predictable to vehicle drivers but also to pedestrians, existing, as a statistic elaborated after years of study, which determines that the presence of alcohol:
- It is present between 30% and 60% of fatal accidents.
- It is present in between 20% and 30% of accidents with non-fatal victims.
- It is present between 5% and 20% of accidents with only material damage.
- It is present in 30% of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents.
Given this and to try to avoid these situations, detection tests have been allowed, prohibiting circulation on public roads or common use by the driver of vehicles that exceed the established rates, although no minor may drive if has ingested or had a blood alcohol level greater than 0 grams per liter.
Mandatory tests for the detection of alcohol or the presence of drugs
All vehicle drivers are required to submit to tests for the detection of alcohol or the presence of drugs when required by the competent authority, and all road users, regardless of whether they are drivers or not, are also required. when they are involved in a traffic accident or have been able to commit an offense.
These detection tests must be carried out using authorized breathalyzers, but when there are justified reasons that prevent their performance, they can be replaced by a medical examination or clinical analysis, with the interested party having the possibility of requesting a repeat of the tests and, in particular, a blood test, which if positive must be paid for by the person who requested it.
Regarding the rate of alcohol, there are three levels of limit on the maximum rate of alcohol allowed:
- The limits are generally 0.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood or 0.25 milligrams of alcohol per liter of breathed air.
- The exceptional limits are 0.3 grams of alcohol per liter of blood or 0.15 milligrams of alcohol per liter of breathed air.
- And the limits to be considered a crime are 1.2 grams of alcohol per liter of blood or 0.6 milligrams of alcohol per liter of air breathed.
As we have said before, everyone who is directly involved in a traffic accident, whether user or driver, is obliged to submit to the tests; those who drive any vehicle with obvious symptoms that can lead to the presumption that driving is influenced by the intake of alcoholic beverages; drivers who are denounced for violations of the general traffic regulations; and those that are required by the authority or its agents within the preventive breathalyzer control programs.
Refusing to carry out these tests could entail, in addition to administrative responsibilities, also criminal responsibilities, such as the commission of a crime of disobedience to authority.
In order to maintain the maximum guarantees regarding the positive result that may be produced by carrying out this test, it is necessary that a second one be carried out, and there must be an interval between the two of at least 10 minutes, subsequently exiting the possibility that the affected person may request his transfer to a health center to carry out a blood test, which must be paid for by him in the event of a positive result, and the cost must be advanced.
In the event that the result is positive or there are obvious symptoms that driving has been carried out under the influence of alcoholic beverages, the agent involved must accurately describe in the certificate the procedure that has been followed to be carried out. the evidence, record what the affected person should have been told of their right to request a contrast test, and make the person who has tested positively available to the Court in the event that the given rate can be considered a crime.
In addition, the vehicle must be immediately immobilized, unless there is another person in the place who can take charge of it.
When is driving under the intake of drugs a crime?
Apart from alcohol, driving may have been carried out under the intake and influence of drugs or other narcotic substances.
There are also medications that have a negative impact on the driver's ability to affect the nervous system, limiting its capacity, if alcohol is also involved in these cases, it ends up enhancing the deterioration of psychomotor and cognitive functions, increasing - is the risk of having an accident.
The detection of drugs is more difficult than that of alcohol, there are specific tests such as the medical examination of the affected person and the clinical analyzes that may be carried out.
Driving under the intake of drugs will be considered a crime regardless of the degree of affectation, as well as delight when the driver refuses to carry them out.
If the administratively permitted limits are exceeded, the sanctions may involve a fine of 1,000 euros and 6 points withdrawn from the driving license.
In case of exceeding the limits for considering the existence of a crime against traffic safety, the penalties range from 3 to 6 months in prison or a fine of 6 to 12 months, or work for the benefit of the community from 30 to 90 days, to more than the deprivation of the driving license that will be from a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 4 years.
At Adacc Advocats Accidents Catalunya we want to help you with any question or doubt that you have in relation to the production of a traffic accident or that has occurred in other different areas, such as work, maritime, air, domestic, school, etc. Do not hesitate to contact us. We do not charge anything to solve these doubts, because we share your concerns.