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Penalty points system introduced in Spain

New penalty points driving license system in Spain.

Traffic authorities claimed that the immediate results of the new penalty points system were evident this weekend as the number of deaths in accidents caused by reckless driving fell sharply with respect to the same weekend last year. The Government hopes that the penalty points system will act as a deterrent to dangerous and drunk driving which is so common in Spain.

As from the 1st July all licences have a total of 12 points except in the case of drivers who have been driving for 3 years or less; licenses for those have just 8 points.

Points will be deducted from licenses of drivers caught committing all kinds of driving offences – many new to Spain. Offending drivers will have from 2 to 6 points deducted from their licence according to how serious the offence is (see list of possible offences and number of points deducted). Points can be recuperated for good driving (2 points for drivers who manage not to lose any points for two years), and for attending special refresher theory and road safety courses.

Drivers who lose all their points due to repeated offences will have their license taken away for 6 months, if it is the first time, or 12 months if it is the second. They will have to attend special course and retake a driving exam before getting their licence back. When their licence is returned it will have just 8 points.

In theory the maximum points an offender can lose in one day is 8 points, although the new system does give traffic authorities to immediately withdraw the licence if the offence is considered to be extremely serious, i.e. driving under the effects of alcohol or drugs, refusing to do a breathaliser test or driving at over 50 percent the speed limit. This weekend one individual was stopped for driving under the influence of alcohol in Sevilla, and he is thought to have become the first driver to lose all his points (and his licence) at once.

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