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Brazil: Harsher Punishments for DUI

(Dec. 26, 2017) On December 20, 2017, Brazil enacted Law No. 13,546, which amends the National Traffic Code to establish harsher punishments for driving while intoxicated. (Lei No. 13,546, de 19 de Dezembro de 2017, PLANALTO; Código Nacional de Trânsito, Law No. 9,503 of September 23, 1997, PLANALTO.)

The Law increases the punishment for driving drunk or under the effect of any other psychoactive substance. Before the adoption of the new Law, if a person were caught driving while intoxicated, the punishment was two to four years in prison.  With the Law’s enactment, the punishment now is five to eight years in prison, in addition to the suspension or prohibition of the right to obtain authorization to drive a motor vehicle.  (Law No. 9,503, art. 302 (§ 3), as amended.)

If the crime for driving under the effect of these substances results in bodily injury of a serious or very serious nature, the driver must also be punished with imprisonment for two to five years, in addition to other possible sanctions. (Law No. 9,503 art. 303 (§ 2), as amended.)  The new rule enters into force in 120 days.  (Law No. 13,546,  art. 6.)