Do you know how much you may drink before you cross the limit? On the Arrive Alive website we have shared content and important information on driving under the influence. It is especially important to consider your drinking habits when at the sports event. You may not only be a nuisance to other attendees and risk getting punched in the face – but you may face much stricter punishment if you plan to drive from the stadium.
What are the consequences of drunk driving?
We would like to share questions emailed to the Arrive Alive website and some answers provided by Justice Project South Africa:
1. If you are caught driving without a license, is it possible to stay at the vehicle and call a relative to fetch the license for you to proof that you do own a legal license?
(a) The simple answer is that anyone operating a motor vehicle is required by law – the National Road Traffic Act Sect. 12(b)to be precise, to carry their driving licence with them at all times whilst operating a motor vehicle.
(b) Not having it with you will entitle a traffic officer to fine you for not being in possession of a valid driving licence for the class of vehicle you are operating – i.e. not having a licence at all, with an alternative charge of failing to carry your driving licence for that class of vehicle with you.
(c) Even if you call for someone to bring your licence to you, you can and probably will be fined for not carrying it, and rightly so.
(d) To further clarify this, do you think that an ATM will give you money if you don’t have your ATM card with you?
Then why would one think that you can drive without carrying your driving licence with you?
2. If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol (above the limit) and your co-driver is sober, would it be possible to swop drivers (after being caught) and drive home safely?
(a) Forgive me for asking but are you serious?
(b) If you have a co-driver instead of an unlicensed passenger with you, and they are sober, surely common sense dictates that it should have been that person, not you that was driving and therefore you should not have landed in this situation.
(c) To ask if after you were caught committing the criminal offence of driving under the influence of alcohol you would be allowed to simply go home with your sober friend is ridiculous. No you would not!
3. And what is the fine for driving under the influence?
(a) As mentioned previously, this offence is a criminal offence. The last of your worries should be how much the fine is, but to answer your question, it can be up to R120,000 or imprisonment, or both and it will also involve the suspension of your driving licence plus a permanent criminal record.
4. Is it a given that you MUST be arrested, or would it be possible for the police officer to write out a fine and phone a buddy to collect you / let some-one else drive you home?
(a) Yes it is most certainly a given that you MUST be arrested.
(b) There is no admission of guilt fine for this criminal offence, just like there is none for murder.
(c) You also must be taken for a blood or Dräger test.
(d) You also must be taken to a police station, detained in cells, fingerprinted, charged with the criminal offence of driving under the influence of alcohol, possibly but not necessarily be granted and pay bail and be summonsed to appear before a magistrate in court.
(e) If you are convicted, refer to 3(a) above.
(f) Please note that exactly the same applies for driving under the influence of drugs, just in case you were thinking of “why drink and drive when you can smoke and fly?”
(g) “Phone a buddy to collect you” instead of driving and all of this can easily be avoided.
Know your limits!!
There is no excuse for not knowing your limits! There are many providers of breathalysers available – and companies such as Alco-Check is also now enabling sports enthusiasts to know their limit through equipment at the sports stadiums!
For more on alcohol and car insurance also view:
- Insured vehicle owners need a reality check about drunk driving
- Do not mix energy drinks and alcohol before driving
- Drunk driving could sharply increase your car insurance premium!
- Will my car insurance pay if I drive drunk?