The festive season becomes increasingly un-festive as the death toll on our roads reaches its annual highest.
Most of these tragic car accidents are, unfortunately, as a result of drunk driving. Many start-ups have (ahem) started to challenge the mainstream taxi industry in order to take as many drunk people off the road as possible.
Drunk Driving In SA
Additionally, companies such as Good Fellows and ABSA offer ‘drive-me-home services’ to make getting behind the wheel less of an option.
Last year the World Health Organisation (WHO), named South Africa the world’s worst drunk driving country when comparing all drunk driving related deaths across the world.
Johannesburg Metro Police spokesperson, Edna Mamonyane says, “It’s so easy to make a proper plan. Enjoy yourself, but make a plan to not drive.”
Despite all the warnings, people still turn a blind eye and put, not only their own lives in danger, but also their passengers and fellow road users’ lives too.
This Is What Will Happen If You Are Caught Drunk Driving
1. You Will Be Breathalysed / Arrested
Arrive Alive states that the legal alcohol limit is 0,05g/100ml. This means if you take to the wheel after two standard beers, you are drunk driving. If an officer at a roadblock suspects that you are driving over the limit, you will be breathalysed.
2. Your Blood Will Be Taken
If the breathalyser tests positive, you will be taken into custody and sent for further testing at an alcohol testing centre. A registered nurse will take a blood sample from you, which will be transported by the police to a laboratory.
3. You Will Be Detained
Once you have been arrested you will be taken to a police station. Drunk drivers are usually detained in the holding cells for at least four hours in order to sober up.
“On busy nights, like on weekends, it could be longer before you are processed and released,” says JMPD spokesman, Wayne Minnaar.
A docket will be opened and you will be allocated an investigating officer who will follow up on your blood test results. You are then allowed to alert family members or friends of your arrest. You may use your own phone or a telephone at the station.
Depending on the severity of the situation, as well as the jurisdiction of the police station, bail may vary but is usually R500.
5. Your Car Might Be Impounded
When you are arrested for drunk driving, your car is taken to the police station. Your keys will be held and returned to you once you have been processed and paid bail.
If you were involved in an accident, your car will be impounded. You will then have to go to the traffic department that impounded your car and pay the impound fee in order to get it back.
What If There Are Children In The Car?
If you have been arrested with children in the car, Mamonyane says most officers try to protect the minors from experiencing the ordeal, “so as to not expose them to the trauma of witnessing the arrest”.
“It’s about time for people to realise (they) have to take responsibility for (their) own actions,” says Mamonyane.
WHO released this infographic last year December (2015) to indicate South Africa’s significant problem with drunk driving related deaths, compared to the rest of the world.