DUI Laws in El Salvador

By Marcello Viridis
The flag of El Salvador

el salvador flag button. (with clipping path) image by Andrey Zyk from Fotolia.com

According to the law in El Salvador, you may be found guilty of DUI if either your blood/breath alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit or, regardless of your BAC level, your consumption of alcohol was enough to impair you ability to operate a motor vehicle.

Enforcement

In El Salvador, police enforcement of DUI cases is similar to that performed in the U.S. There is no policy of random breath testing, so police will generally only initiate an investigation when evidence suggests or supports that a DUI has occurred. This includes an officer's personal observations of irregular driving, statements from witnesses or investigations after an accident.

Zero Tolerance

Under El Salvador laws, the legal limit is .01. For all intents and purposes, this amounts to a zero tolerance for drinking and driving. Additionally, unlike in other countries such as the U.S., which imposes different levels depending on whether you are a beginner, experienced or commercial driver, in El Salvador, the legal limit applies to all drivers no matter what level.

Penalties

Under the law, a conviction for DUI results in license suspension and seizure of your vehicle. Additionally, police have the authority to arrest and fine you if your DUI incident is particularly grievous.

Anti-Drinking and Driving Campaigns

In an effort to curb the incidences of DUI, the El Salvadorian Vice Ministry of Transport has found some success in its "Talking About Alcohol" education programs that inform children and youth about the dangers of drinking and driving in the hopes that they will refrain from doing so when they get older.

About the Author

Marcello Viridis has been "working in writing" for the past six years. Since publishing his first article in 2004, he has written on a range topics from working and living overseas for the Wall Street Journal's Black Collegian website to legal essays for the Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. Viridis has a B.A. from Pomona College and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School.