Drinking and driving
Since June 20th, Brazil has had a new law regarding drinking and driving.
Until before June 20th, it was legal to drink moderately before driving. There was a limit of alcohool in the blood before a driver was considered uncapable of driving, of 0.6 dg/l; drivers caught driving with more than that limit were fined; only those people putting other lives in danger could be charged of crimes.
The new law is: the limit is zero.
Anyone caught with a detectable level of alcohool in blood will be fined in R$ 955 (about US$ 600) and will have drivers license seized by one year.
Driving with more than 0.6 dg/l will be considered crime; the driver will be taken to the Police department and charged of crimes; it will be up to the Deputy in charge to keep the driver arrested or to determine a payment for bail out.
Because of the law, a new word is in vogue: bafômetro. This is the device where drivers have to blow to measure the levels of alcohool. There is a discussion going on about whether a person may be obliged to blow the bafômetro, and what to do when he/she refuses.
For foreign visitors, the best advice is: do not drink anything before driving.