By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio State deputy Pedro Augusto, who represents the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party) party, was stopped on Saturday night as part of an operation aimed at stopping drunk-driving on Brazil’s roads – Operação Lei Seca (“Operation Dry Law”), but refused to give a breath test.
The 48-year-old deputy, who is also a radio presenter, a Catholic merchandise impresario and a singer, was stopped whilst driving his BMW in the Botafogo, in Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone).
He was also found not to be carrying his driver’s license (in contravention of Brazilian road laws) which will now be suspended for five days. He also received a fine of R$957.70 (around US$534).
The deputy managed to escape having his car impounded as he managed to call someone else who was licensed to drive the car and able to pass the breathalyzer test, Globo News reports.
He is not the only Brazilian politician to refuse to take a breath test: senator Aécio Neves, of the PSDB (Social Democratic) party, later issued a statement saying that the test was “unnecessary” as another person present could also drive the car.
New legislation passed means that acceptable level of alcohol present in a motorist’s body is now zero, and a breathalyzer is no longer required for a conviction if other evidence, such as eyewitness accounts, videos or images, is available.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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