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This Thursday, the Chamber of Deputies approved and sent to the Senate the project that reforms the Traffic Law with the aim of establishing the “zero alcohol”. This means reduce the amount of alcohol per liter of blood from 0.5 to 0 milligrams that can be tolerated for driving on domestic routes. The vote had 195 in favor, 19 against and four abstentions.

In the event that it also achieves approval in its passage through the Senate, car driving would be prohibited when it has been consumed some alcoholic drink It is expected that the Upper House sanction the law before the end of the year.

Until now, Traffic Law 24,449 establishes, for any type of vehiclea tolerance of up to 500 milligrams (0.5 grams) of alcohol per liter of blood; for motorcycles or mopeds up to 200 milligrams (0.2 grams); and to passenger transport of minors and cargo, zero alcohol.

The initiative, Promoted by the national government and relatives of victims of road accidentswas the result of a cross agreement between the political blocs, but did not find a consensus among Mendoza: seven of the ten representatives of the province rejected the law.

“Zero alcohol” is already established in seven provinces.

both in the In Front of All as in Together for Change there was freedom of action, although the vast majority voted for. The Federal interblock (which includes schiarettismo, socialism and lavagnismo) also accompanied, like United Provinces (allied to the ruling party) and the Left Front.

The majority of the Mendoza representatives voted against; the liberals Javier Milei, José Luis Espert and Victoria Villarruel; some deputies of the PRO and the peronist Jose Luis Giojacoming from San Juan, another wine-producing province.

The project modifies subsection “a” of article 48 of Traffic Law 24,449, indicating that “remains It is forbidden to drive any type of vehicle with a blood alcohol level greater than zero milligrams per liter of blood.

If penalized, the law will apply to national routes. In those provinces that already have zero alcohol regulations (Córdoba, Entre Ríos, Chaco, Jujuy, La Pampa, Río Negro, Salta, Santa Cruz, Tierra del Fuego, Tucumán and Chubut) controls can be coordinated and sanctions applied.

However, in provinces like Mendoza (where the tolerance of 500 milligrams is in force) the law runs the risk of being “inapplicable”, because as warned by the provincial government, neither the Gendarmerie nor the National Road Safety Agency They have the power to draw up acts of infringement.

In the provinces and 13 locations in the country with zero tolerance, better results were obtained in terms of road accidents than with the current regulations.

A long-awaited law

Early, Relatives of victims of road accidents gathered in front of Congress and later witnessed the approval from the boxes. The head of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Transport, Álvaro Errea, and the head of the National Road Safety Agency, Pablo Martínez Carignano, also attended the venue.

“This law it is far from being a law against the consumption of alcohol. It has nothing to do with the prohibition of drinking, but of Do not drive when you have consumed alcoholl”, clarified the president of the Transport Commission, Jorge Rizzotti (UCR), who defended the majority opinion.

Relatives of victims of road accidents celebrated the half sanction.

Relatives of victims of road accidents celebrated the half penalty. (Orlando Pelichotti/)

The legislator stated thatthere are too many families who have lost their loved ones by motorists driving while intoxicated,” adding that “this legislation try a culture changeintends to fight against road violence and set up a mindfulness practice and civic responsibility.

During the discussion, Deputies in favor of the law argued that road accidents are the main cause of death in people under 35 years of age and the third over the total population: 20 lives are claimed per day. They also reported that drink driving is the cause of one in four deaths from these accidents.

What was the position of the Mendoza

All Mendoza deputies from Together for Change voted against: Julio Cobos, Omar De Marchi, Jimena Latorre, Álvaro Martínez, Lisandro Nieri and Pamela Verasay.

In Front of Everyone, Alone Adolfo Bermejo and Liliana Paponet voted in favor. Eber Pérez Plaza did it againstwhile Marisa Uceda abstained.

the cornejista Latorre defended the model applied in the provincea, which maintains the tolerance of 500 milligrams but with tougher penalties for drivers who exceed that limit and greater controls.

“In Mendoza in 2018 we modified the Transit Law and the policy was to toughen the sanctionsbut consequently the management also made an effort to ensure that these sanctions were effective and for this, education, awareness, control and sanctions were reinforced”, explained Latorre.

Julio Cobos voted against, like other Mendoza.

Julio Cobos voted against, like other Mendoza. (Federico Claro/AR)

The radical denounced that “they choose the easy path and the path of lies” because “Addressing such a serious and sensitive issue without taking responsibility for the case makes us fall into demagogy, in the pettiness of using legitimate social demands to raise slogans”.

From the Frente de Todos, Bermejo came out at the Latorre intersection. “LI’m sorry I heard the word ‘demagogy’. We can be for or against, but such a qualifier was unnecessary“, answered.

Bermejo, who had signed the original project, defended his position: “I have been mayor of Maipú three times andn my department, viticulture is perhaps the activity that generates the most wealth. But I come with a lot conviction to support this project”.

Instead, his peer Pérez Plaza differed: “I don’t believe in prohibitionsyes in the regulations, in the need to raise awareness and in working to care for lives. I share the commitment of this law, but I have to think as a producer. We have to work to find balance”.

Another deputy who did not support the project was apert. “Legislating on zero alcohol is cheap and freebut the solution to traffic accidents does not go through this, but through more driver education and more highways instead of routes”, he opined.

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