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    New Law in Poland: Confiscation of Vehicles for Driving Under the Influence

    Starting from today, March 14th, new regulations regarding penalties for individuals driving under the influence of alcohol come into effect in Poland. The most significant change is the introduction of much harsher penalties for drunk drivers. Individuals who exceed the limit of at least one and a half per mil of alcohol in their blood will be subject to confiscation of their vehicles. It is worth noting that according to assurances from lawyers, a driver under the influence of alcohol will only lose their own car. This means that a company or rented vehicle will be returned to the owner.

    In cases where confiscation of the car is impossible, for example, due to the destruction of the vehicle, the driver will be required to pay the equivalent value of the lost car. The amendment to the criminal code specifies that a driver who has above 1.5 per mil of alcohol in their blood will lose the right to use their vehicle, regardless of whether they were involved in a road accident or not.

    It is also important to note that the new regulations only apply to motor vehicles, so bicycles are not subject to confiscation. The confiscation procedure is as follows: after being stopped by the police, the car is secured for a period of up to seven days, and then handed over to the supervision of the prosecutor’s office. The court makes the final decision on the forfeiture of the vehicle to the State Treasury, although it may also waive this decision in the absence of an accident or other significant circumstances.

    Absolute confiscation of the vehicle applies to individuals who drove under the influence of alcohol (at least 0.5 per mil of alcohol in the blood), leading to a road accident or who have been stopped again for driving under the influence. This decisive change in traffic law aims to increase safety on our roads and effectively reduce the number of accidents caused by drunk drivers.

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