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Drinking & driving in Brazil

Discussion in 'Brazil Property' started by debzor, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. debzor

    debzor New Member

    There are laws in Brazil, and there are laws. There are laws that are enforced in Brazil, and there are laws. A few months ago, across the country, a breathaliser scheme was introduced with massive publicity - largely (apparently) missed by many Brazilians. Thousands have been locked up on the spot, lost their driving licenses and face large fines.

    Seen increasingly across the western world as totally unacceptable, drinking and driving in Brazil has been commonplace despite being against the law, due to a lack of any enforcement. Now that has changed and everyone (local and visitor)need be aware.

    Having a few beers with dinner & driving home may happen in small localised, rural villages in Europe, and will continue likewise here, but in any city or on any main road in Brazil witness the dozens of abandoned cars as their drivers are taken away to prison in handcuffs, guilty of a new zero tolerance policy.

    On the other hand, in my state alone - PE - accidents are down 51%, and road deaths nearly 30% since this introduction. No matter what the papers might say, in Brazil most unnatural deaths in the under 59 male age group occur on the roads...

    Be aware!
     
  2. Dotty

    Dotty Banned

    It's a very positive approach to the new drink driving law . Lei seca was adopted following along the lines of our own European driving legislation and appears to be working,so let's hope the law can keep it up."Se vai dirigir nao bebe,bebeu nao dirigir".QUOTE=debzor;71194]There are laws in Brazil, and there are laws. There are laws that are enforced in Brazil, and there are laws. A few months ago, across the country, a breathaliser scheme was introduced with massive publicity - largely (apparently) missed by many Brazilians. Thousands have been locked up on the spot, lost their driving licenses and face large fines.

    Seen increasingly across the western world as totally unacceptable, drinking and driving in Brazil has been commonplace despite being against the law, due to a lack of any enforcement. Now that has changed and everyone (local and visitor)need be aware.

    Having a few beers with dinner & driving home may happen in small localised, rural villages in Europe, and will continue likewise here, but in any city or on any main road in Brazil witness the dozens of abandoned cars as their drivers are taken away to prison in handcuffs, guilty of a new zero tolerance policy.

    On the other hand, in my state alone - PE - accidents are down 51%, and road deaths nearly 30% since this introduction. No matter what the papers might say, in Brazil most unnatural deaths in the under 59 male age group occur on the roads...

    Be aware![/QUOTE]
     
  3. De Orc

    De Orc New Member

    Glad to hear this as I do think most Brazilians think they are F1 drivers without the drink LOL Hopefuly they will start to improve things, I have seen way to many wrecked cars on the roadside between recife & Natal :(
     
  4. Dotty

    Dotty Banned

    You are absolutely right.They are crackers at driving,but you will be pleased to know that they are going to make passing a driving test even harder,at present you only need 15 driving lessons(maximum) by Brasilian law before you take your driving test and that test is NOT taken on the roads we use,but in an isolated area where situations have been set up to undertake your test!!

    Unfortunately the policia rodovia has only ten teams to man the whole of Natal,so the effects have not been the same as in Sao Paulo and Rio.The whole of Natal knows the check points,so the Blitz is pretty weak here at the moment.:)
     
  5. debzor

    debzor New Member

    Interesting about the police check points in Natal, Dotty, here there are a few permanent ones, but they keep putting up mobile ones in different locations, sometimes just a couple of hundred metres from an existing one to catch 'rat run' drivers...
     
  6. debzor

    debzor New Member

    ...in fact the one nearest to us is sometimes manned by a policeman called Charlie. He speaks exactly these words in English, when he stops a foreigner: ' What is your name? My name is Charlie'. This is all the English he can remember from school.

    You've probably guessed it already, but yes, we call it Checkpoint Charlie!
     
  7. De Orc

    De Orc New Member

    LOL I like that and must try to meet him at some stage :D
     
  8. Dotty

    Dotty Banned

    Lei seca - It appears that according to Head of Policia Rodovia figures for alcoholic car accidents for the month of August 2008 are the same as 2007 .He also said that the drinking ban has made no difference in Natal as they do not have the resources,staff to combate it.

    Where does all the money and training go.........................???
     
  9. Mineiro

    Mineiro New Member

    Yet another Brazilian law which has good intentions but in the end will result in very little. As the Brazilians say " So para os ingleses ver ".
     
  10. debzor

    debzor New Member


    I think, Dotty, if you look at the bigger picture (ie beyond Natal), you will find a completely different picture. I am sorry that the police in Natal appear inept, but massive funding is behind this drive, the resources are available, and the media has been full of the success of this law all over the rest of Brazil for weeks...
     
  11. RalphJ

    RalphJ New Member

    Here where I am I have yet to see a checkpoint although in the news they have claimed to have caught 40+ people in the entire state for violating this new, ridiculous, law. I say ridiculous because this is typical brazil. Before this law was passed one could literally drive up to checkpoints with can of beer in hand, now all of a sudden, drink one drop, and you're in violation.

    Although drinking and driving are no doubt part of the problem with the record numbers of accidents and deaths on the highways, the true problem is derived from unenforcement of ALL driving laws, not only drinking and driving.

    Police here do not site people for "wreckless driving"(I wonder what the parameters would be for this, lol), running red lights, stop signs, speeding (only when driving through a stationary radar zone which is posted with warning signs). People need to first of all be educated on the proper way to drive then the laws need to be enforced. Without enforcement no one respects the laws and you have the reality which exists today. No one can tell me that in my daily adventures on the roads here that 95% of the people driving that are doing absurd things in their cars are all drunk....although it appears so!:D
     
  12. debzor

    debzor New Member


    I quite agree, Ralph, although to be fair I think the drink driving law has been in place for a while, but the police did not have the means to enforce it.

    There again, if they enforced all the driving laws, or introduced those found in other countries, Brazil could save a fortune on road repairs, because very few Brazilians would be able to use them...!
     
  13. DGM42

    DGM42 New Member

    In Belo Horizonte they are taking it very seriously and zero tolerance
     
  14. Dotty

    Dotty Banned

    That's what we want to hear!

    But -Natal has a police force that is under-staffed,under trained and in a mess.

    I agree with Ralph ,Brasilians need to learn to drive properly because there are just so many incompetant drivers on the road(sober) that cause fatal accidents daily all over Brasil that attributes to Brasil being one of the most dangerous country to drive in around the world.
     
  15. Mineiro

    Mineiro New Member

    Yes I certainly wouldn't say they are the best drivers about but they're not the worst either. I would like to ask everyone on this thread one simple question. Who can honestly hold up their hand and say that they've never been guilty of drink driving?
     
  16. RalphJ

    RalphJ New Member


    According to statistics Mineiro they are among the worst. Brazil currently has approximately the same number of people that die in car accidents as the U.S., around 40K per year. BUT, the U.S. has 270 million cars and Brazil has less than 40 million. If Brazil had the same number of autos and licensed drivers here in Brazil as the U.S. we would have 300 thousand people die from auto accidents a year.....that's insane!

    People here in Brazil drive crazy and the reasons, imo, is what I've stated previously. First and foremost there is no enforcement of the driving laws here. On nearly a weekly basis while returning home to my house on the beach I'll pass a police car that is driving 60-70 kph while I'm doing 90-100 and don't need to worry about them stopping me to give me a ticket.
     
  17. debzor

    debzor New Member


    And if they did stop you, Ralph, you would probably just 'buy them lunch', right?
     
  18. Mineiro

    Mineiro New Member

    I agree with you, but you're forgetting the terrible conditions of the roads which certainly must contribute to the statistics.
     
  19. RalphJ

    RalphJ New Member


    Believe me my friend, I'm not forgetting about the condition of the roads here....it's abysmal. The only half-decent roads are toll roads. I wonder where all our tax money is going for these roads?

    The condition of the highways, the habits of the motorists, unenforcement of the law, it all combines to add up to a situation that is one of the most dangerous on the planet.
     
  20. davehoskings

    davehoskings New Member

    I am suprised you haven't slit your wrists yet Ralph ....
     
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