SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA – September 19th, 2012 – The new traffic law (Le de Transito) has been approved in 2nd debate, and therefore, traffic fines will be changed once again.
The most expensive tickets will be for reckless driving, illegal overtaking, invasion of lanes, and driving under the influence of drugs or drunk driving. These will each result in a fine of 280,000 colones (approximately $560). Authorities say these infractions are responsible for up to 75% of the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Costa Rican roadways.
Seven other infractions will carry a fine of 189,000 colones. These include running a red light or not respecting a stop sign, and exceeding the speed limit by 40km/hour or more, among others.
The remaining 90 infractions will have fines that vary between 20,000 and 94,000 colones.
The alcohol limit for drunk driving will also be lowered for “professional drivers” as well as “inexperienced” motorists.
Professional drivers are those who drive buses, taxis, and heavy vehicles, among others. Inexperienced drivers are those who have possessed a driver’s license for less than 3 years.
These two classes of drivers will receive a fine when found to have over 0.2 grams of alcohol per liter of blood, and are penalized with jail when this amount is over 0.5 grams.
For other motorists, the fine will be applied when having more than 0.5 grams of alcohol and will be penalized with jail when the amount is over 0.75 grams of alcohol per liter of blood.
Not known is how the law may apply to foreigners who have possessed a Costa Rican driver’s license for less than three years.