13th Saeima declares drunk driving a criminal offence in Latvia

On Thursday, 27 October, Latvia’s 13th Saeima passed in the third reading amendments to the Criminal Law. These amendments state that drunk driving enter criminal liability if the alcohol concentration in the blood of a driver caught drunk driving exceeds 1.5 per mille.
At the same time the parliament passed accompanying amendments to the Road Traffic Law.
Criminal liability is introduced for driving a vehicle or giving driving lessons while in a state of narcotic, psychotropic, toxic or other forms of intoxication. Concentration volumes or stages of intoxication are not listed.
Punishment for aforementioned criminal act is deprivation of freedom for up to 12 months, short-term deprivation of freedom, a period of probation, community service or a fine, with confiscation of driver’s license for a period of five years.

A person who refuses an test for alcohol, narcotic, psychotropic or other intoxicating substances will have his or her vehicle confiscated.

If a traffic accident results in damage caused to another person’s vehicle, the guilty party will be charged full or partial value of the damaged vehicle.
Until now driving a vehicle while intoxicated was punishable with a fine and confiscation of driver’s license for a period of five years. Criminal liability for drunk driving was applied if the person caught drunk driving has no driver’s license.
At the same time, to promote involvement of youngsters in work in the fields, law amendments

will lower the age at which it is permitted to study for tractor driver’s lisence.

In order to study for TR1 category tractor driver’s licence, a person will need to be at least 15 years (previously 16 years). The age requirement for general purpose tractor driver’s license will be 16 years (previously 17 years).
Amendments to the Criminal Law were administered to introduce deprivation of freedom for a period of up to one year, short-term deprivation of freedom, probation, social service or fine for using forged registration plates.
The law was also expanded with a section that states intentional dodging mobilisation to the National Guard will be punishable with short-term deprivation of freedom, probation, social service or a fine.