Sunday 9 May 2021

Costa Rica Gets Tough On Drunk Drivers For The Holiday Season

As we head into the end of year holiday season, the Attorney General’s Office (Fiscalía General) and the Transit Police (Policía de Tránsito) united their voices to give a clear and forceful message: they will be relentless against drunk drivers.

Don’t be a statistic. Don’t drink and drive.

On Friday, Emilia Navas (Attorney General) and German Marin (head of the Transit Police) held a joint press conference to announce that drivers caught under the influence of alcohol (and drugs) will be arrested and subjected to a criminal process.

- Advertisement -

They also announced changes that will speed up the process.

Before Friday, drivers caught under the influence were sent to the Fiscalia (Prosecutor’s Office) for identification and summoned to interrogation days later. The interrogation will now be immediate.

Both stated that up to now the system has been ‘easy’ against drunk drivers, but no more.

Key questions about these changes

  1. What changed on Friday?
    If a driver is allegedly arrested because he or she is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs they will be transferred to the appropriate prosecutor’s office according to the location. They will be detained, booked (a criminal case is opened) and taken to cells of the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ).
  2. When will they be detained?
    An administrative fine is levied against a driver blowing higher than 0.38 in a roadside breathalyzer test.
  3. How much is the administrative fine?
    The administrative fine of some ¢310,000 colones if: a) If the blood alcohol is greater than 0.5 g and up to 0.75 or higher or 0.38 mg on a breathalyzer. This applies to all drivers; Higher than 0.20 g to 0.50 g blood alcohol, or greater than 0.25 mg on a breathalyzer in cases for professional drivers and for novice drivers (drivers with a license under three years).
  4. What happens if a driver refuses a breathalyzer?
    When the driver refuses the order of a Transito (traffic official) to a breathalyzer, the Public Prosecutor’s Office may order the driver to a medical center to have the blood test done and thus to verify the state of drunkenness.
  5. Will there be preventive detention (remand) for the drunk drivers?
    According to Emilia Navas, as in any criminal case, the Penal Code establishes that precautionary measures may be requested.So yes, a drunk driver can spend time behind bars while their case makes its way through the courts. Navas explained each case is assessed individually and, if necessary, the driver may face some type of precautionary measures to prevsent them from driving under the effects.
  6. Should the minimum alcohol consumption allowed be reduced?
    Germán Marín explained that the institutional criterion is that if a person is going to drive, their consumption of liquor should be zero.”What we want is to safeguard the physical integrity of ourselves or of others, the driver must be in optimal conditions,” he said.

The takeaway here is, if you are going to party this holiday season, DON’T DRIVE.

Alternatives to drunk driving

  • Have a Designated Driver. If one of your friends doesn’t drink, great! … If you don’t have friends that don’t drink, maybe its time to make new ones
  • Use public transport, ie. Uber, taxi
  • Walk.
- Advertisement -

Stay Safe. Choose a Safer Option.


- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Remember vehicle restriction begin at 9 pm today, Tuesday, April 27

QCOSTARICA - As of today, Tuesday, April 27, and until Sunday,...

Road Deaths Fall to Lowest In 7 Years Due to Sanitary Vehicle Restriction

QCOSTARICA - The year in which the Covid-19 pandemic forced Costa...


Mexico reports its first case of India COVID variant

Q24N - Mexico detected its first case of the India COVID variant, health authorities reported. The infected person is from San Luis Potosí, a...

Will the new wave of COVID-19 infection threaten Costa Rica tourist recovery?

QCOSTARICA - Will the current wave of covid-19 infections cost Costa Rica's recovery of its already battered tourism? Will the wave of infections and scarcity...

Cuba Ready to Join WHO-Led COVAX Facility, Ambassador to China Says

Q24N   - Cuba is ready to join the COVAX vaccine-sharing mechanism led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Latin American country's ambassador to...

Mexico City: Metro train bridge collapse leaves 23 dead

Q24N - An elevated section of metro track in Mexico City partially collapsed on Monday night, bringing down rubble and some train carriages onto...

Flexible vaccination triggers Costa Ricans travel to the United States

QCOSTARICA - The hook of six states promoting Covid-19 inoculation for tourists in the United States caught many Costa Ricans. They are Texas, Alabama, Arizona,...

Red Cross suspends extraction of nutritionist’s body in Chirripó

QCOSTARICA - The Cruz Roja (Red Cross), on Saturday,  suspended the extraction of the body of nutritionist Marialis Blanco Vega, who was found dead...

After 200 years, two women manage to preside over Congress in the same period

QCOSTARICA - It took 200 years, but it was achieved, two women to preside over Congress in the same legislative period (2018-2022). On Saturday, May...

Costa Rica received the largest to date batch of covid-19 vaccines

QCOSTARICA - A new batch with 124,020 doses of the covid-19 vaccine landed on national soil this Tuesday night, as part of the weekly...

Judiciary compensates teacher taken off a plane by mistake for not paying alimony

QCOSTARICA - A PhysEd teacher managed to get the Judiciary to agree to pay him just over ¢1.2 million colones (US$2,000) for taking him...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.