Don't get caught drinking and driving

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

While the festive season is filled with happiness and celebrations, there is also a lot more drinking and driving, resulting in an increase in accidents at this time of year.

You might feel like there is little harm in having a few drinks at a social event and then get into your car to drive home. But this behaviour puts the safety of other drivers and pedestrians at risk, not to mention your own.

The South African Police Service (SAPS), combined with other state and provincial authorities, are committed to reducing this crime and have warned that drivers who have too much alcohol in their systems will face the wrath of the law.

No one is trying to stop you from having a good time - just be responsible about doing it!

What is the limit?

Your blood may not have an alcohol content of more than 0.05%. This means that even after what you may think is a "small drink", you could be over the limit.

If you have more than 350ml of beer, or if you have more than a single tot of brandy or other spirit, you may already be over the limit. Remember that these levels of alcohol will remain in your system for up to eight hours after consumption.

Do not take chances - rather stay where you are until you have sobered up, or arrange for alternative transport home from wherever you plan to drink, and make such plans in advance to ensure that you are not left stranded.

Serious consequences

Members of the SAPS, the various Metropolitan Police Departments and other law-enforcement agencies are more frequently conducting road blocks and manning other checkpoints to discourage people from drinking and driving.

If you are stopped at such a roadblock, and if it is determined that you have consumed more than the legal limit of alcohol that you may legally consume while driving, you will be arrested and charged with driving under the influence of liquor.

You will be held in custody until you are able to post bail and in certain instances bail may be denied. Depending on prior convictions against you, as well as the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you face a minimum fine of R2 000 or a two-year prison sentence, or both.

You may also lose your driver's licence, or have it suspended. And, of course, you will have a criminal record. -

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