Interior minister Daniel Lipsic’s war on traffic offences continues as the government gave the thumbs up to an amendment to the Highway Code that would make driving under the influence a criminal offence punishable by a year’s jail time (also if you refuse to take the tests).
The new proposal does not apply only to those causing accidents, but to anyone caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The level of alcohol you would have to have in your blood is much higher than the zero-tolerance legal limit, though, so you would only face criminal charges if you have over 1 part per thousand (‰) of alcohol in your blood or are on illegal drugs.
Irresponsible drivers who think they can drink and drive could thus face a lifetime ban based on the ‘Three strikes and out!’ system, while minister Lipsic made it clear that this would not apply retroactively.
The revised Highway Code includes other changes, including the need for fresh 17-yr old drivers to be accompanied by an experienced driver (10 years driving experience) for the first year after getting their license. The new code also introduces fines for drivers who do not stop at pedestrian crossings, as a large percentage of drivers in Slovakia are convinced that those black and white lines are just for decoration.