Drunk Driving 101: The basics

Article posted in the Criminal Law category on 01-01-2014 11:00:00

Drunk Driving is one of the biggest threats to Road Safety in South Africa. Research indicates that 50% of people who die on the roads have a blood alcohol concentration above 0.05 gram per 100 millilitres.

The National Road Traffic Act (NRTA), Act 93 of 1996 as amended.

Section 65:

Driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug having narcotic effect, or with excessive amount of alcohol in blood or breath: 1. No person shall on a public road - (a) drive a vehicle; or (b) occupy the driver's seat of a motor vehicle the engine of which is running, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a drug having a narcotic effect.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limits:

Concentration of alcohol in blood: 0,05 gram per 100 millilitres (all drivers), professional drivers: 0,02 gram per 100 millilitres.

Breath alcohol content: 0,24 milligrams per 1000 millilitres (all drivers), professional drivers: 0,10 milligrams per 1000 millilitres.

What if you are caught?

If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol (above the limit), you have committed a criminal offence. This will involve the following:

- Being arrested
- Having to appear in Court
- Possible being found guilty of driving under the influence, a fine of up to R120,000.00 or imprisonment, or both
- Having your driving licence suspended
- Having a permanent criminal record

There are however many Lawyers who specialise in drunk driving cases, and if you are caught, it is suggested that you approach a Lawyer to find out what your options are BEFORE pleading guilty in Court.

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