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Have you been driving under the influence of alcohol?

As we approach the holidays, it is important to bear in mind that there are certain rules regarding crimes against traffic safety that we must comply with.

In this sense, and despite the fact that the Spanish Criminal Code only contains six articles addressing this matter, many citizens are unaware of them and could be committing a crime against road safety without them knowing it.

It is very important to note that these crimes are known as crimes of abstract danger. This means that they do not require a consequence or result for their commission. That is, the criminal offence is considered to be committed even though you do not cause an accident because the protected legal interest is that of abstract traffic safety, irrespectively of whether lives of other people are in danger or whether an accident occurs as a result of the person´s wrongful behaviour.

If you have been driving under the influence of alcohol, it is extremely important that you take into account that if the Police or Guardia Civil requests to breathalyse you, you ought to know that refusing to do so is punishable with imprisonment of 6 to twelve months and a prohibition from driving vehicles and motorcycles between one and four years under Article 383 of the Criminal Code.

It should also be noted that under the provisions of Article 379.2 of the Criminal Code, the limit of alcohol in expired air is 0.60 per litre or 1.2 grams per litre in blood. Therefore, if you tested positive but the rate is lower than 0.60/1.2, depending on the second test, your behavior could be unpunished or punished with an administrative penalty consisting on an fine as well as the withdrawal of up to 6 points from your driver´s license. That is why if the result is positive, you will be required to undergo a second breath test ten minutes after the first one. Should you continue to exceed the limit after the second test, your vehicle will be immobilized and towed away and you may be arrested and taken to police station, where, after the legal formalities  you will be summoned to a quick trial in flagrante delicto to be held before the Instruction Court on duty. In this quick trial, to which you have the obligation to attend assisted by a Lawyer, you have the option of reaching an agreement with the public prosecution or what is known as plea bargaining, assuming your guilt and thereby obtaining a conviction with a reduction in the standard penalty for this crime. If this were the case, the judge will issue a consent judgment which shall entail a prohibition from driving vehicles as per the agreement reached with the prosecution.

However, if you do not reach an agreement with the prosecution, an order of summary proceedings shall be issued, with the obligation of submitting a defence statement before the Court of Instruction prior to having the Criminal Court appoint a date for the trial session to take place.

All in all, please bear in mind that our specialists in Criminal Law may offer you the best legal advice, including assistance to the detainee, legal assistance at quick trials for crimes against road safety in order to try to achieve a ruling which is favourable to your interests, as well as a defense during the trial session to achieve an acquittal in those cases in which our experts deem it feasible.

Lexland Abogados informs you that legal assistance is at your disposal in the event that you are arrested or require legal assistance at the Police station or before the Court.

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