Useful Holiday Info

The following information is intended to help you enjoy your holiday, confident that you've got the facts you need.

Although some of these points are common sense do read on. A strange phenomena can appear along with the holiday sun - you’re relaxed, having a tip top time, feeling laid back........and somewhat invincible. So, to help you stay that way, make a note of what follows.

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DRIVING IN SPAIN

New penal code for traffic offences comes into force

By James Parkes
SINCE yesterday, Thursday, motorists who are found driving without a licence on Spanish roads, commit a crime against road safety and could go to prison.

Amendments to the penal code regarding road safety were made on December 2 last year, but the government approved a moratorium for its enforcement, which concluded on May 1.

In accordance with article 384 of the new penal code, anyone found driving a vehicle without ever having obtained a licence, now face a spell behind bars that could vary from three to six months, a fine over a 12 to 24-month period or community work over a period of between 31 and 90 days.

The same penalty will be applied to those who have been temporarily or permanently stripped of their licence due to a judicial order or an accumulation of 12 points on their licence.

Figures released by the DGT traffic department show that more than 25,000 motorists were fined last year for driving without a licence and the same sources estimate around 30,000 people drive without a licence in Spain.

Other articles of the penal code also punish with imprisonment the following road traffic crimes: exceeding the maximum permitted speed in built-up areas by 60kph and in open roads by 80kph, driving with an alcohol reading of over 0.60mg per litre of air or 1.2g per litre of blood and refusing to take an alcohol test.

EXPAT DRIVERS’ DILEMMA

Driving without a licence could become a serious problem for expats who are in the process of getting their new residence certificates.

Costa Blanca News received a call from a reader in reference to a recent story about residence certificates.

He said that he had just been given an appointment for July but finds himself in trouble because without his foreigners’ registration certificate he cannot renew his driving licence, which runs out in May, so effectively he won’t be able use his car for two months.

The reader said that while he agreed that getting the certificate is a piece of cake, the time frame of getting an appointment at Dénia’s DNI office can vary greatly.


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