Many people from around the United States are traveling to Brazil to cheer on Team USA in the Olympics which starts in 3 days. To many just attending an olympic games is a bucket list item which can be exhilarating and something that won’t be forgotten. Anytime an individual leaves the United States it is important to understand the laws of the foreign country they are traveling to. The last thing you want is to find yourself, a family member or friend in serious trouble on foreign soil. Many people who are traveling to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics will surely be partaking in consuming alcoholic beverages while enjoying the pageantry, competition and breathtaking views of Brazil. For those people who are thinking of driving, be very careful. Brazil has one of the strictest DUI laws in the world.
In the United States, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a 0.08%. In fact many people I represent tell me “they only had a beer or two and felt fine to drive”. This is NOT the case in Brazil. “Lei Seca” is the Brazilian law that absolutely prohibits anyone from driving in their country with ANY alcohol in their system. So to put this in another way, the legal limit in Brazil is 0.0%. From what I have read this law is strictly enforced within and around Rio de Janerio where the Olympics are being help. Authorities will be out in full force to make sure things run smoothly and this will include that individuals are following the laws including “Lei Seca”.
If an individual is stopped and arrested for a DUI in Rio, they could also be facing very harsh penalties including possible jail time. Ignorance of the laws of Brazil will certainly NOT be a defense just as it is not a defense in the United States. Brazil has a great public transportation system, including the metro, buses, trains and taxis. In addition most people don’t realize that UBER can be used in other places around the world including at the olympics in RIO. So make sure before leaving for the Olympics to put the UBER app on your smartphone so they are just a click away.
While Brazil does have very strict DUI laws, it is far from having the strictest punishments in the world for DUI. In Saudi Arabia, a conviction for DUI will include a fines around $10,000, 10 years in jail and can also include a public lashing. In China an individual can spend the rest of their lives in prison if convicted of a DUI especially of injuries are involved. I don’t think you have to worry about the Unites States ever having penalties like these. The point I am trying to make is that your actions in another Country can have potentially life altering consequences if not careful.
I’m not telling you can’t have have any alcohol while at the Olympics. I’m simply making sure that people are aware of their surroundings and the laws of Brazil. Everyone has heard of the saying “when in Rome”, well for the next two weeks if your one of the lucky ones going the Olympics you need to remember the saying “when in Rio”. Brazil basically has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to DUI so be careful, be smart and help cheer on team USA!!!!!
Hiring the right attorney can make all the difference in the world, even if your case seems straightforward or you have no criminal record. If you find yourself arrested for a DUI, make sure you have a capable attorney on your side. Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney Zachary B. Cooper will be aggressive and will fight to make sure that your rights are protected so that your family and you can move on with your lives. Call (215) 542-0800 for a free consultation to discuss the legal options that may be available to you.