Drunk Driving Laws In South Africa

By: First Car Rental  08-23-2011
Keywords: Airport Transfers, Car Hire, Car Rental

Drinking and driving is a subject that no one should ever shrug off or cast aside. The seriousness of drunken driving charges are enough to scare anyone away from driving drunk, but there are far more solemn implications that can occur when people don’t take their blood alcohol limit seriously; fatal implications.

Do you know enough about the South African drunk driving laws to understand how much is enough? And if you don’t, do you understand the drunk driving charges associated with a blood alcohol limit that is beyond what it should be?

Blood Alcohol Limits

The South African Road Traffic Act 93/96 has been in effect since March 1998. These drinking and driving laws serve to protect our community and to best treat the subject of drunken driving charges.

* The legal blood alcohol limit = 0.05g per 100ml
* The legal breath alcohol limit is less than 0.24mg in 1,000 ml of breath

What does this allow you to consume? Well in simple terms, 2 drinks over the space of 1 hour will put you over the limit. Drinks can be divided into units that can be further broken down as follows:

  • * 1 glass of 75ml wine = 1 unit
  • * 1 glass of 250ml wine = 3.3 units
  • * 1 shooter = ½ a unit in most cases
  • * 1 spirit cooler = approximately 1.25 units
  • * 1 beer = 1.5 units or more
  • * 1 cider = 2 units
  • * 1 25ml shot of spirits = 1 unit
  • * 1 cocktail = 2 – 4 units

1 unit = 0.02g blood alcohol

It takes your body 1 hour to process 1 unit of alcohol. Ideally, you should never be getting into the driver’s seat of your car after drinking any alcohol, but at least this way you can work out how long it takes for the alcohol to leave your system.

Here is a startling fact to catch your attention, as according to Dr Charles Parry of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Group under the Medical Research Council (MRC): 40% of drivers who die on the road have alcohol levels in excess of .08gms/100ml.

Local Drinking And Driving Laws

Any person driving on South African roads should familiarise themselves with the local drunk driving laws. We’ve summarised the drinking and driving laws for your easy perusal:

1. No person shall on a public road -
a. Drive a vehicle; or
b. Occupy a driver's seat of a motor vehicle, the engine of which is running, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a drug having a narcotic effect

2. No person shall on a public road -
a. Drive a vehicle; or
b. Occupy a driver's seat of a motor vehicle, the engine of which is running, while the concentration of alcohol in any specimen of blood taken part of his or her body is not less than 0,05 gram per 100 millilitres.

3. If, in any prosecution for a contravention of the provisions of subsection (2), it is proved that the concentration of alcohol in any specimen of blood taken from any part of the body of the person concerned was not less than 0,05 grams per 100 millilitres at any time within two hours after the alleged offence, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that such concentration was not less than 0,05 grams per 100 millilitres of blood at the time of the alleged offence.

Implications Of Being Caught

Perhaps you haven’t been caught drinking and driving; perhaps you’ve been “lucky” up to now because you think that you’re a “good drunk driver”. But what could happen to you if you ignore these drinking and driving laws and you do get caught?

If you’re found guilty of drunken driving you could be arrested and jailed for up to 6 years. You could also face fines of up to R120,000 and you could also have your driver’s license suspended. The other glaring fact is that you’ll have a criminal record which can make seriously hinder the successful progression of the rest of your life. The worst case scenario is that you could kill yourself, your loved ones or someone else on the road.

First Car Rental Stands For Road Safety

At First Car Rental, we believe in ensuring that when you hire a car from us, you are in the best physical condition to be operating a vehicle. We do not condone drunken driving in any way and we’ll make sure that we never rent cars to those who ignore their blood alcohol limit. While we can’t watch over every person who hires one of our budget or executive cars, we do hope that our patrons will have the common sense to look after themselves and to drive with caution.

Some good news for those of our patrons who are out on the town and find they’re unable to drive home; we’ve partnered with Good Fellas. If you’re a Good Fellas member you can call a Good Fellas driver to come and assist you without being in each of your contract with First Car Rental.

At all First Car Rental branches we believe in safety above all else. Please, drive safe on our roads.

Keywords: Airport Transfers, Car Hire, Car Rental, Car Rental Service

Other news and updates from First Car Rental

First Car Rental Expands African Operations into Tanzania from First Car Rental thumbnail
10-13-2014

First Car Rental Expands African Operations into Tanzania

First Car Rental is excited to announce that it has expanded its African operations by opening three new business units in Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, as well as an operational presence in Arusha, the Mwanza Region and Zanzibar.


Post your selfie with The Rhino Orphanage Nissan Juke Win a holiday worth R20 K from First Car Rental thumbnail
08-25-2014

Post your selfie with The Rhino Orphanage Nissan Juke Win a holiday worth R20 K

Stand a chance of winning one of two holidays worth R 20,000 each by posting your selfie with First Car Rental’s Rhino Orphanage Nissan Juke at the 10th TOPS at SPAR Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival at University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus from 04 September to 06 September 2014.


First Car Rental's Melissa Storey Mentors for Phakama Women's Academy from First Car Rental thumbnail
08-18-2014

First Car Rental's Melissa Storey Mentors for Phakama Women's Academy

First Car Rental’s Melissa Storey, Executive Head of Strategy, Development and Marketing, has been invited to be a mentor for the Phakama Women's Academy – a new CSI initiative from the brand experience agency, VWV, that aims to empower young women in the marketing sector by equipping them with the skills they need to rise up in the corporate world.


Top 10 Valentine's Gifts for Men - First Car Rental from First Car Rental thumbnail
02-12-2014

Top 10 Valentine's Gifts for Men - First Car Rental

Valentine’s Day is back! Valentine's Gifts are, of course, one of the best ways to woo and win over that special someone in your life and women are spoilt for choice this season.Gifts for men, on the other hand, are a bit tricky, because, unlike women, men hardly offer pointers on what they really want! First Car Rental has decided to help you with your Valentine’s gifts this year and has put together a list of some ‘out of the box’ Valentine’s Day gift ideas for men.


Elephant Smashes First Car Rental Car in Kruger National Park from First Car Rental thumbnail
01-21-2014

Elephant Smashes First Car Rental Car in Kruger National Park

The vehicle involved in the recent elephant incident at the Kruger National Park was a rental and it belonged to First Car Rental. The vehicle is a write-off, the elephant was euthenased by SANPark rangers following the incident and there were injuries to the couple.


08-02-2013

First Car Rental's Top 10 Camping Sites in South Africa

South Africa’s breathtaking landscape, amiable climate and amazing wildlife makeanideal setting for a thrilling camping experience. For those of you who love soaking up the sights, sounds and serenity of nature, First Car Rental has put together a collection of the top 10 camping sites in South Africa.


06-24-2013

First Car Rental's Tips for Finding Cheap Car Rental in South Africa

When going on holiday, the last thing one wants to spend time worrying about is car rental, especially when that time could be spent discovering new and exciting places. First Car Rental offers tips that can make finding cheap car rental easy and cost effective.


06-21-2013

Add glamour to your wedding - First Car Rental explains how

If you want to add that special touch to your wedding and travel in style, hire a luxury car for your wedding. Wedding car hire from First Car Rental offers you lots of advantages. Here is a look at what they are.


06-05-2013

First Car Rental's Top 10 Father's Day Ideas

Rent a car from First Car Rental and use this guide to explore some great desitnations this Father's Day.


06-05-2013

First Car Rental's Top 10 Father's Day Ideas

Rent a car from First Car Rental and use this guide to explore the great destinations across South Africa this Father's Day


01-18-2013

First Car Rental's Top 10 White Water Rafting Destinations in South Africa – Part 1

South Africa is home to an array of rivers that are perfect for adventure travel! Here’s First Car Rental's top 10 list of white water rafting destinations.


11-26-2012

First Car Rental's Guide to Whale Watching in South Africa

The South African coastline is a haven for eager whale watchers. Check out our travel guide for everything you need to know about whale watching in South Africa.


10-04-2012

First Car Rental Guide to Eastern Cape Tourist Attractions

The Eastern Cape in South Africa is a diverse playground of stunning beaches, top class wildlife resorts and gorgeous scenery. With a host of attractions from trail runs to flower shows, you’ll never run out of things to do in this vibrant province. Here’s the low down on what’s happening this month in SA’s popular Eastern Cape Province.


09-19-2012

Kruger National Park Travel Guide

The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s leading game reserve. Find out all you need to know about this reserve in our Kruger Park Travel Guide.


First Car Rental Travel Guide: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s Top 5 Resorts from First Car Rental thumbnail
08-16-2012

First Car Rental Travel Guide: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s Top 5 Resorts

Rent a car from First Car Rental and use our Evemzelo KZN Wildlife Travel Guide to explore 5 of the best wildlife resorts KZN has to offer.