Calle Lanzarote

Drink-driving in Arrecife

I’ve often read (and heard) about a lack of respect for non-smoking laws on the Spanish mainland, but today I came across an item on a German-language website that defies belief: a judge deciding that an alleged drunken driver was innocent – even though she had an accident whilst over the limit and injured someone.

According to the story on, the driver concerned was suffering from a lack of sleep and was over the legal limit as far as alcohol in her blood was concerned.  Admittedly not that much over, but over the limit none the less.  The pedestrian that she apparently hit suffered a broken shoulder and a broken leg and was subsequently not able to work for 6 months.

Now, whatever the circumstances may have been, such as whether the alcohol contributed to the accident, or whether the pedestrian was actually allowed to be where he was, is it not strange that the driver was allowed to get away with being over the limit?

A quick look at the table for alcohol limits shows that the Spanish limit is the same as that in Germany, but is actually lower than the limit in the UK.  I wonder how many British visitors realise that and think that they are OK to drive, but are actually already over the limit?

But the main question has to be: is it usual for Spanish judges to ignore the country’s laws in this way?

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