With stats showing that at least 50% of road deaths are alcohol-related, the authorities will no doubt ensure that once again the Festive Season is also the Season of Roadblocks.
What happens if you are caught driving “over the limit”?
This is what you face –
- Immediate arrest and detention
- A compulsory blood test
- Prosecution in court (facing substantial penalties, including imprisonment for serious cases)
- If you have caused a death you could well be charged with murder rather than just culpable homicide
- Suspension of your driver’s licence
- A criminal record (you can only apply for expungement after 10 years)
- Whatever happens in court, if you hurt or kill someone else that’s going to be on your conscience. Drunk driving is a choice you make and you will live with the consequences.
Here’s how to avoid all that angst and risk –
- The obvious one – don’t drive after drinking. The limits are (blood) 0,05 gram alcohol per 100 millilitres or (breath) 0,24 milligrams per 1,000 millilitres. Note that lower limits apply to professional drivers (0,02 gram and 0,10 milligrams respectively).
- Remember that many of the online advice columns on how much it’s safe to drink without exceeding the limit are approximations only – stay well under the recommended number of drinks!
- If you don’t have a “designated driver” in your group, use a taxi, Uber, Taxify, Home Drive service etc – convenient, cheap, easy, and responsible.
What if you are arrested? There’s some good advice in the last section of this article: “Drunk driving in SA: Jail, criminal record and huge fines” on Wheels24.