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ZERO tolerance for driving under the influence
02 June 2020  | Crystelle Steyn

Statistics have shown that South Africa has one of the highest rates in the world when it comes to drinking and driving and the court rolls are congested with the high number of cases related thereto.

The current legal limits for driving under the influence are set out in Section 65 of the National Road Traffic Act. For normal drivers, the concentration of alcohol in any blood specimen must be less than 0,05 gram per 100 millilitres, and the concentration of alcohol in any specimen of breath exhaled must be less than 0,24 milligrams per 1 000 millilitres.

This means a normal driver can consume a maximum of one unit of alcohol per hour, which constitutes 10ml of pure alcohol, based on an adult weighing 68kg. Statistics have shown that our bodies can only process one unit of alcohol each hour. People weighing less than 68kgs should however be aware that their bodies will need more time to process the same amount of alcohol. A breakdown of some alcohol in units are as follows:

1 x 75 ml glass of wine = 1 unit and 1 x 250 ml glass of wine = 3.3 units

1 x shooter = ½ unit (depending on the alcohol volume)

1 x beer = 1.5 units or more

1 x cider = 2 units

Should a driver be pulled over and it appears that they consumed alcohol subject to stringent tests conducted by the Police on scene, they WILL be arrested and detained and a blood sample will be taken. Once a blood sample has been obtained and sent for testing and the report has been obtained confirming that the alcohol in their system exceeds the legal limit, they will be found guilty in Court and will end up being sentenced to imprisonment (up to 6 years) or receive a fine (minimum R2000) and possibly have their licence suspended. This will also mean that you will have a criminal record.

Most people at some point have been to a braai with friends, work function with colleagues or maybe just went to a restaurant to have dinner with loved ones and got behind the steering wheel after consuming alcohol and may have not been over the legal limit.

This however will not be allowed anymore in the near future as the legal limit will reduce to zero percent meaning that you are not allowed to consume any alcohol and be behind a steering wheel and should you be caught, there will be serious consequences waiting.

A solution to the problem? Give up drinking, if that is not possible, rather use the safe route to appoint a designated driver to get you safely home or arrange alternative transport such as an uber or taxi to get you to your destination safe.


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Tags: Alcohol