By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Following intensified activity by Operação Lei Seca (Operation Dry Law or Prohibition), 324 drivers were fined in the city Rio de Janeiro on Christmas morning. Some 1,570 drivers were stopped during the operation and breathalyzer tests were administered to 1,368 of those drivers.
A total of 49 vehicles were towed and 92 drivers had their National Driver’s License (CNH) taken at the scene of various traffic stop blitzes. The activities marked an increase in Operação Lei Seca efforts during the year-end holidays and also new efforts to crackdown on drinking and driving during the summer season, which began on Sunday, December 21st.
Operação Lei Seca was first introduced in 2009 as an enforcement and educational campaign to reduce the number of traffic accidents due to driving under the influence of alcohol. The ‘dry law’ was initially passed in 2008, and changed the acceptable level of alcohol in one’s body to zero, making any blood alcohol content an offense.
During the hours of Christmas morning ten people were reported injured in four separate accidents in Barra da Tijuca. In Flamengo, a 30-year-old man was stuck by a bus and died on the scene. Reports do not indicate if alcohol or driving under the influence played a part in those accidents.
The Operation Lei Seca activities will continue through the first of the year. Coordinator of Operation Prohibition, Colonel Marco Andrade previously stated that there will be a total of 67 operations during the Christmas season and 67 more operations on New Year’s Eve.