The guidelines for DUI and DWI in Puerto Rico
The rules for drinking and driving in Puerto Rico are not that much different from the laws regarding DWI and DUI in the United States. Keep in mind, that Puerto Rico is considered to be under US jurisdiction.
For example, the legal limit for driving while under the influence of alcohol is .08% in Puerto Rico, the same as the rest of the United States. However, underage drivers in Puerto Rico actually do have a very slight amount of leeway themselves. In Puerto Rico, 18-20-year olds are allowed to operate a motor vehicle with a .02% BAC or less. In the United States, anyone under 21 who registers any BAC above .00 will be arrested and receive a DUI or DWI depending on the severity of the infraction.
This essentially allows those under 21 to have a sip or two of wine with dinner and drive versus the US where any detection of alcohol under the age of 21 while driving is grounds for immediate arrest.
The penalties for being caught driving drunk in Puerto Rico
If you are caught driving drunk in Puerto Rico, you will face some stern penalties. For your first offense you will pay a five hundred dollar fine, lose your license for half a year and you might even need a breathalyzer installed in your car that will require you to blow before your car can start.
Your second DUI offense in Puerto Rico will incur you even stricter consequences. You will pay a seven hundred dollar fine, lose your license for a year and you will have to spend about a week in jail. After that you will need to complete at least a month of community service. It is also almost a certainty that you will have a breathalyzer installed in your vehicle.
If you are a three-time offender, you will be charged with a felony this time. You will also spend a minimum of ten days in jail which could possibly end up being a full year depending on the judge’s discretion. You will pay a one thousand dollar fine and you will lose your license for at least a year.
The worst penalties for DUI in Puerto Rico are if you cause an accident. If you get into an accident in Puerto Rico when you are drunk driving, you will pay fines of up to five thousand dollars and will also likely get sentenced to more than a year in jail.
The statistics about drunk driving in Puerto Rico
The stats and facts about drunk driving in Puerto Rico are saddening, just as they are in many places in the United States.
In the past several years in Puerto Rico, at least one third of all car accidents resulting in a death were found to be alcohol related. Of those the majority (over three quarters each year) were found to be involving a driver who was over the legal limit.
Driving drunk in Puerto Rico, or anywhere for that matter, is incredibly irresponsible and, at a minimum, will result in your arrest. At the worst, it could result in someone’s death. To make matters worse, those deaths do not just affect the person that was killed, it affects all of their families and friends as well.