Colombia’s House of Representatives ratified a law Wednesday that made alcohol tests for drivers obligatory throughout the country.
The law explicitly makes it illegal for drivers to refuse alcohol-level test requests by authorities and classifies the severity of drunk driving into three levels based on the amount of ethanol found in the driver’s system.
“The message and meaning of the project is very clear: he who drinks cannot drive,” said the law’s chief proponent, Senator Juan Lozano Ramirez of the conservative “La U” party.
Ramirez added that Colombia is “advancing towards a culture of zero tolerance in the mix of alcohol and driving,” according to newspaper El Espectador.
The law will complement the existing “National Code of Traffic,” a patchwork of laws that stipulates anything related to rules of conduct in traffic.
Under the new law between 20 y 39 mg of ethanol in the body will result in a suspension of driver’s license for between six and 12 months.
A first grade offense indicating between 40 and 99 mg of ethanol in a drivers system will result in a license suspension for between one and three years, while a count of between 100 and 149 mg of ethanol would be a categorically second grade offensive, meaning a license suspension of between three and five years.
Any driver found with more than 150 mg of ethanol in their blood will have their license revoked for anywhere between five and ten years.