The Congress votes today to raise up to nine years the penalties of homicide by imprudence at the wheel

Source: Europapress

The Justice Commission of Congress will give, this Tuesday, the first step to toughen up to nine years the maximum prison sentence for reckless homicide when it is the consequence of a serious imprudence at the wheel of a motor vehicle, such as speeding or Alcohol consumption.

This figure is included in the text prepared by the Congress report in charge of reforming the Criminal Code in terms of road safety, and which will be debated and voted on in the session held by the commission on Tuesday. Parliamentary sources assure Europa Press that the measure will have the support of most groups.

This reform, which was initiated at the request of the previous PP Government following a request from the associations of victims and cyclists, had as main objectives, as detailed in the explanatory statement, to clarify the situation of serious and less serious penalties; the increase in the punishment of this type of behavior; and the introduction of the crime of abandonment (omission of the duty of relief) from the place of the accident.

Speed, alcohol or drugs
Thus, the new text bets to always qualify as serious imprudence driving that threatens the integrity of people in the following three cases: when a crime against road safety is committed for speeding, when it is under the influence of drugs , Or under the influence of alcohol.

Until now, the judge assessed whether the imprudence had been serious, less serious or slight, according to the circumstances concurrent in the event. With the proposed new regulation, in any of these three cases there will be no scope for interpretation and it will be considered serious imprudence in any case. The maximum penalties thus pass from four to nine years.

«In this way, the highest sanction is guaranteed for certain particularly serious behaviors resulting in death, particularly when the driver of the motor vehicle or moped drives under the influence of toxic drugs, narcotics, psychotropic substances or alcoholic beverages or excess speed, «says the draft of the opinion.

Two new articles
This increase in punishment is proposed through two channels (with the drafting of two new articles). One of them allows the judge or court to impose the penalty of up to nine years in prison in case of several deaths, or deaths and serious injuries, caused by imprudence in the driving of motor vehicles.

The other gives the possibility of increasing the pain in one degree when there is a plurality of people who suffer injuries that impair their physical integrity, their physical or mental health or the loss or uselessness of an organ, among others. In the same way the penalties of withdrawal of card in these cases are increased.

Another of the main reforms that claimed, in this case the bicycle group, was the introduction of the crime of abandonment of the accident site with an autonomous wording. In this draft, the groups have agreed that a new chapter dedicated to crimes against road safety be included in the Penal Code, «because it is understood that it is a different and fraudulent behavior and independent of the previous reckless or fortuitous conduct».

The intrinsic evil
«What we want to sanction in this case is the intrinsic evil in the abandonment of who knows that leaves behind someone who may be injured or even killed, the lack of solidarity with the victims, criminally relevant for the direct involvement in the previous accident to the abandonment, and the legitimate expectations of pedestrians, cyclists or drivers of any motor vehicle or moped, if attended in the event of a traffic accident, «the document points out.

The new wording specifies that the abandonment of the accident site, when imprudence has been committed at the wheel, will be punishable by between six months and four years in prison and the withdrawal of the driver’s license between one and four years. If it is considered that this omission of relief is «fortuitous», the penalty will be reduced to a maximum of six months, while the withdrawal of the card could be up to two years.