An alcohol-testing control in Palma. | Palma Policia Local


The local police in Palma are considering coming into line with other local police forces in Spain and the Guardia Civil by stopping the currently indiscriminate arrest of drivers who test positive for low amounts of alcohol.

A few days ago, the director of security, Martí Capó, and the head of the local police, Josep Palouzié, met with representatives from Trafico and the Guardia Civil to analyse the situation. It is thought that the arrests are in certain instances disproportionate.

The majority of police forces as well as the Guardia take account of various factors in applying the law on drink-driving. If someone over the limit (within a certain parameter) has a known address, doesn't attempt to get away and is not a repeat offender, it is considered sufficient to charge him or her with a minor offence. At the same time, the vehicle is immobilised and the driver prohibited from driving under the influence. These are the same conditions which apply to anyone without a licence or with a licence that has been withdrawn.

In the event that a driver causes a fatality or serious injury, gets away by driving off and so disobeys a police command (or resists arrest), assaults an officer or proves positive for high levels of alcohol, the situation is obviously different.

The local force also believes that a change to its procedure will give it greater flexibility when conducting controls, if it doesn't have to assign units to take drivers into custody for minor offences.