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PROJECT: DRINKING AND DRIVING AND THE LAW

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Over the Festive season, year-end functions and get-togethers with family and friends are the norm and this leads to drinking and driving as well.


In terms of Section 65 (1) of the National Road Traffic Act, 93 of 1996, no person may drive a vehicle or occupy the driver’s seat of a vehicle when the engine is running, on a public road, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a drug that has a narcotic effect.


Section 65 (2) of the Act goes further to state that no person may drive a vehicle or occupy the driver’s seat of a vehicle when the engine is running, on a public road, while the concentration of alcohol in any specimen of blood taken from any part of his/her body, is not less than 0.05 gram per 100 millilitres, or in the case of a professional driver, not less than 0.02 gram per 100 millilitres.


Section 32 of the Act refers to a professional driver as someone who is the holder of a valid public driving permit.

 

THE LEGAL LIMIT IN SOUTH AFRICA:

  • The legal limit is currently 0.05 grams per 100 millilitres in the blood, which corresponds to a breathalyser reading of 0.24 milligrams per 1000 milligrams of breath taken within 2 hours after the alleged offence.


THE NUMBER OF DRINKS THAT AMOUNTS TO 0.05 GRAMS PER 100 MILLILITRES:

  • 2 Standard drinks in the first hour will raise the blood alcohol level to 0.05 and 1 standard drink thereafter, per hour, will maintain that level.


CAN A PERSON REFUSE THEIR BLOOD TO BE TAKEN OR TO BE SUBJECTED TO A BREATHALYSER TEST?

  • In terms of Section 65(9) of the Act, NO person can refuse that a specimen of his/her blood or breath is taken.


PENALTIES AND SENTENCES IF A PERSON IS CONVICTED IN TERMS OF SECTION 65:

  • In terms of Section 89(2) of the Act, a person who is convicted of drunken driving/driving over the legal limit can be sentenced to a minimum fine of R2,000.00 and a maximum fine of R120,000.00 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 years.

  • A further consequence is that apart from the fine/sentence, the convicted person will also have a criminal record and possibly a suspended license.


EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL INTAKE ON DRIVING:

  • Alcohol blunts alertness, reduces coordination, affects vision and alters depth perception.



Stay alive - do not drink and drive!

 
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Regards,

Mike Bolhuis

Specialist Investigators into

Serious Violent, Serious Economic Crimes & Serious Cybercrimes

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