Fines for traffic violations
In addition to losing points from the point-based driving license, traffic law violators in Spain also receive fines. As a tourist or holidaymaker you will be asked to pay the fine on the spot. If you do not have the cash with you a traffic officer will accompany you to a cash point to withdraw the money, otherwise a friend or family member can bring themoney to you. If you do not pay the fine your car will be impounded until you have the funds to do so, at which point you will also have to pay the removal and impound costs. If you disagree with the officers decision then you can appeal the fine, if the appeal is granted, the money will be returned to you. By paying the fine on the spot you only have to pay 50% of the full fine.
If you are a resident in Spain the fine will be sent to your address. If you pay it within 20 days the fine will be reduced by 50%.
The only officers who are allowed to ask you for money on the spot are the traffic officers. These are the officers dressed in green with hi visibility fluorescent waistcoats, labelled "tráfico" other officers cannot ask you for money. If you are in doubt take note of their ID number and name, ask to see their badge.You are within your rights to call 112 to verify to whom you are giving your money.
If you are found to be under the influence of Alcohol:
As of the 7th December 2007 any offence involving driving over the speed limit, under the effect of alcohol or drugs can also take you to jail. The legal limit in Spain is 0.25 mg/l of breath. There is no specified quantity in units, as different quantities effect every person differently. If you are a learner, or a bus or lorry driver the limit is 0.15 mg/l.
If you are found to have 0.25 - 0.50 mg/l of breath, of alcohol in your system you will receive a 500 euros fine and 4 points on your license. In case of having between 0.50 - 0.60 mg/l, the fine amounts to 1,000 euros and 6 points on your license. If no one is available to come and collect you and your car, you will have to wait with the vehicle until you have sobred to the legal limit.
If you are over 0.60 mg/l of breath, you will be arrested receive a fine, have your license revoked, the vehicle will be impounded and you will receive a criminal record. You will be prosecuted. As a tourist or holiday maker you will be held in this country unil the date of your trial, OR you will have your passport invoked to ensure you do not leave the country until you have been prosecuted.
Driving without a license
Driving without a license was the last law to be implemented (1st May 2008) Driving without a valid license in Spain is illegal, if you are caught driving without your license you will be fined. The license must have a photograph. The license must be renewed every 10 years, (if you are a resident) you are required to take a medical exam before renewing the license. It is not compulsory to convert your British license to a Spanish one. It is worth noting that the Spanish traffic police can issue points to your British license. As a resident in Spains you should also carry a valid MOT certificate, the vehicle registration documents, insurance documents and your NIE number.
Failure to change your registration plates
As a resident of Spain you can drive in Spain with British registration plates for 30 days. As a non-resident you can apply for tourist plates, this allows you to drive in Spain with British registration plates for six months per year (private use only, not for businesses). For your first offence you will be given five days to start the process of registering the vehicle in Spain. Customs are informed. On the second offence (outside of the five days leeway) if you do not have proof of the registry process having been started, it will be considered a traffic violation and you will be fined. Customs will be informed and the vehicle will be taken to your residence and clamped.