It’s holiday time and most of us are enjoying getting a little festive with end-of-year functions, Christmas parties and general holiday cheer.

WOW hopes that all motorists are doing it responsibly and opting for alternative modes of transport if you’re planning on having a boozy one.

Drunk driving is one of the biggest threats to South Africa’s road safety during the festive season. With so much evidence to suggest that you could quickly find yourself behind bars for Christmas, if you choose to drive under the influence, we’re sure our readers are saying ‘no’ to getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Being arrested is just one consequence for drunk driving. Fatal accidents that claim the lives of others should be your primary reason for getting a designated driver, or a service like Uber, to drive you home this Christmas.

1. You will be arrested for being over the limit

Arrive Alive states that the legal alcohol limit of 0,05g/100ml is exceeded after just two standard beers.

If you are suspected of 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. The sample will be securely stored and 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, where you will be detained in the holding cells for at least four hours to sober up.

The JMPD’s spokesman, Wayne Minnaar says that on busy nights, like on weekends, it could be longer before you are processed and released.

A docket will be opened and you will be allocated an investigating officer who will follow up your blood test results.

Now would be a good time to alert family or friends to your arrest, if you haven’t done so already. If you do not have a phone, you will be permitted to use one at the station.

4. Bail

The bail amount for driving under the influence varies depending on the jurisdiction of the police station, says Mamonyane, but most require R500.

5. You car will not be impounded

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you car will be taken to the police station. Your keys will be held and returned to you once you have been processed and paid bail.

If your vehicle is impounded, usually because it’s been involved in an accident, “you would need to go to the traffic department which impounded your vehicle and pay the impound fees in order to get it back”, explains the Justice Project SA chairperson, Howard Dembovsky.

“Being a very irresponsible adult”

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 we have to take responsibility for (their) own actions,“ says Mamonyane


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