Drunk Driving and the Law in South Africa
Drunk Driving….. the narrative:
Michelle: “Babe, I think I should drive home”.
David: “I have been doing this for years”.
Michelle: “Yes I understand, but you have had more than the legal limit, maybe you should give me your keys”.
David: “No man, do you think I am an idiot, I can drive”.
Michelle: “I know you can, but it may be safer if we call an Uber if you do not want me to drive”.
How many times have you heard this at a bar, a house party or a function? Truth is you cannot reason with a drunk person. The law is clear and here is the process.
- You will be arrested for being over the limit (remember the legal alcohol limit is 0.05g/100ml) which is two beers.
- If you are suspected of being over the limit you will be breathalysed which if positive, means you get hauled off into custody and sent for further testing at an alcohol testing centre.
- If this happens make sure a registered nurse takes the blood sample and that it is securely marked with your name and then transported by the police to a laboratory.
- Once you are arrested, you will be taken to the holding cells for at least four hours to sober up, but depending where you are, if it is a busy night, you could be there a lot longer before being processed and released.
- The police will open a docket and you will be allocated an investigating officer whose job it is to follow up on your blood test results (Get their details).
- So now, would be a good time to get hold of your spouse, family member or a friend (you might already have done this if you have a cell phone on you, but if not, ask to use the police station landline, you are entitled to do this.
- You will need around R500 bail (this could vary depending on the jurisdiction of the police station).
- The police are not allowed to impound your car, if you have been arrested. They will keep your car keys until you have been processed and paid bail after which the keys will be returned and you will be able to leave.
- However, if you were involved in an accident due to drunk driving, the car will be impounded and you would then need to go to the traffic department which impounded the car and pay impound fees to get it back.
If you have been irresponsible by driving under the influence, it is 1000 times worse if you drive your vehicle with children in the car, it is unforgivable to endanger their lives and then to expose them to the ugliness of being arrested as this could cause them PTS and cause them to have emotional problems. Drunk driving is a no-no!
This is the legal process, but you may have experienced it differently and would consequently require the services of a lawyer. Yambu Legal Protection will give you the comfort of knowing you have a lawyer on your side 24/7 for less than the cost of your night of drinking.
Want to know more: www.yambu.co.za