It is estimated that 50% of people who die on South African roads have a blood alcohol concentration level above 0.05g per 100 millimetres, which is the maximum legal blood alcohol limit.
It is a well known fact that it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs. “Alcohol affects our vision, judgment, balance and reaction time. Because even one drink can affect you, one should not drink and drive at all,” says the AASA.
The Automobile Association continues to lobby for legislation regarding the blood alcohol concentration level to be dropped to the professional driver limit of 0.02g per 100millimetres, which will limit the legal amount of alcohol consumption to less than one beer.
One in every fifteen drivers on the road in the evenings is over the limit. Morning rush hour bumper bashings are likely as a result of the previous night’s drinking, with the cost of crashes to the economy being calculated at R52 billion per annum.
The fallacy of sobering up quickly by gulping down a quick espresso is just that, a fallacy. Your liver has the task of dissipating the alcohol in your body, which happens at a rate of 0.02mg per hour.
The maximum punishment for drinking and driving is R120 000 and/or six years imprisonment, as well as the suspension of your driving license. Drunk drivers found to be over the limit are arrested, locked up and bundled with other criminals until sober after which they are charged. Evidentiary breathalyser printouts are admissible as evidence in court.
If you are involved in a crash while you are under the influence, it will impact on your insurance payouts. Because you have committed an illegal act by driving under the influence, short-term insurers, life insurers and the Road Accident Fund can refuse to pay out claims. “Drinking and driving should be something that responsible South African drivers see as an absolute abhor ration and flagrant disregard for other road users,” the AASA concludes.
Please let us have your comments on the proposed 0.02 Alcohol limit for drivers;
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1126