As the December festive holiday spirit creeps in slowly, it is a hive of activity as the roads begin to get busier by the week. Usually, this phenomena peaks towards the final week just before the Christmas holiday, but due to the effects of the pandemic and people working from home, some people have found it convenient to travel earlier to avoid traffic congestion.
Driving under the influence of alcohol has always been a challenge for decades, exacerbated especially during the festive holidays. This is where many people for the most part, engage in the consumption of alcohol whilst faced with the necessity of travel. The downside of this state of affairs is that even though one exercises caution, there is always a risk of being crashed into by another less cautious party.
Road users owe one another reciprocal duties of observing the rules of the road in order to avoid the unnecessary loss of life and damage to property.
Added to consistent messages discouraging drunken driving and exercising caution on the road, there are measures in place to enforce compliance and encourage responsibility on the roads.
A rollout of the new Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) system is currently underway in four (4) phases, with phase 2 being implemented between 1 October and 31 December 2021, by the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA). The new system seeks to penalise traffic offences with a demerit system which culminates in the suspension or cancellation of a driver’s license.
Sections 63, 64 and 65 of the Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 provide for prohibitions against driving recklessly and negligently, inconsiderately and under the influence of alcohol respectively. It is a criminal offence to drive or be in the driver’s seat of a vehicle whose engine is running, on a public road, while under the influence of liquor or a drug having narcotic effect, where the concentration in a blood specimen is above 0.05g per 100ml. In the event that a breathalyzer is used to test, the limit stands at 0.24mg per 1000ml. Going above these limits can easily be achieved by drinking two bottles of alcohol in quick succession.
An amendment to the current limits is being contemplated, to reduce the limit from the above figures to 0.00, meaning driving should only be done when one is sober.
We strongly advise travelers to ensure that they abide by the law and not put their lives and those of others at risk. We are available to assist in drunken driving cases as well as a host of other matters as outlined on our website and social media pages.
Contact us for comprehensive assistance.
The information and material published on this website is provided for general purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We make every effort to ensure that the content is updated regularly and to offer the most current and accurate information. Please consult one of our lawyers on any specific legal problem or matter. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage, whether direct or consequential, which may arise from reliance on the information contained in these pages.
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