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Traffic cop issuing a ticket. File photo.

QCOSTARICA – Refusing a roadside breathalyzer test can cost a driver ¢309,000 colones, if the initiative approved Wednesday afternoon by the Commission of Government and Administration gets the full approval of Legislators.

Unanimously, the members of the legislative commission voted positively for Ley 19,636 that reforms thirteen articles of the Traffic Act (Ley de Transito).

The director of Transito, Mario Calderon, confirmed currently there is no penalty for a driver who refuses a breathalyzer. But, he said, drivers who refuse the roadside test are taken to a clinic for a blood test.

Partido Accion Cuiadana (PAC) legislator, Franklin Corella, who is a member of the Commission, explained that the change closes loopholes in the law.

Other changes approved by the Commission and requiring the full vote of the Legislature, bans parking of vehicles over 2 tons in urban areas, a time limit on the loading and unloading time of trucks and possible fining drivers of illegally parked cars, even though they are not inside the vehicle.

The reform also amends the current law to allow the seizure of license plates of “noisy” vehicles and vehicles with high emissions, such as fumes or particulate pollutants exceeding established limits; and vehicles obstructing public roads, sidewalks, bike lanes or parked in handicapped spaces (without permits).