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Thousands of drivers now face fines for not paying Marchamo

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January 3rd, 2013 ( About 167,000 drivers are now at risk of receiving a 47,000 colons fine for driving without this year’s “Marchamo” (annual vehicle tax) payment.


The deadline to pay Marchamo expired on December 31st. As of yesterday afternoon, approximately 15% of vehicle owners had not yet made the payment.


According to the National Insurance Institute (INS), there were a total 1,130,922 Marchamo payments due for 2013, of which 964,024 had been paid as of 4:00 pm yesterday, while the rest remain pending.


The Institute has raised over 127 billion colons (about $254 million USD) in Marchamo payments so far.


By yesterday afternoon, the Transit Police had already fined 237 drivers for driving without a current Marchamo.


Besides the fine, those caught driving without current Marchamo also risk having their license plates confiscated, as well as other penalties. For example, the insurance portion of the Marchamo payment will increase due to interest.


According to authorities, tickets for driving under the influence of alcohol also increased during the holiday season.


Authorities said that in December 2012, 301 people were stopped for drunk driving, with tourist areas seeing the most cases.  However, authorities said that the incidence of drunk driving in the San Jose metro area has increased over years past.


Last year, there was a monthly average of 210 people stopped for drunk driving.



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