“Imagine that one bad decision you have made has costsomeone else’s life. You have taken away a father, a mother. A Grandmother andGrandfather’s Granddaughter. A Brother’s sister. An Aunt and Uncle’s niece. Howwould you feel? “The term Drunk driving, refers to operating a motor vehicle while aperson’s blood and alcohol content is exceeding the legal limit that is set by thelaw, and is the when a person cannot drive safely.
The behaviour of drinkingand driving may result in many negative and disturbing effects and it is one ofthe main causes of accidents. Not only will the driver be affected by thetrauma of the accident but other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians may beinjured and emotionally traumatized as well. But beyond that, there is the emotionalsuffering to family members and friends who may lose loved ones or have to copewith severely injured loved ones.
Drunk driving is one of the biggest threats to Road Safetyin South Africa. More than 21,000 people have been arrested on our roads in thelast year due to drinking and driving and it has been shown that 50% of peoplewho die on our roads are driving under the influence. Any person driving onSouth African roads should be aware with the drunken driving laws in SouthAfrica. Here’s a summary of the laws: No person on a public road shall: Inhabita driver’s seat of any means of transportation, while the engine of which isrunning, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Occupy a driver’s seatof a vehicle, while the vehicles engine is running, while the concentration ofalcohol in any sample of blood taken from the driver is not less than 0.05grams per 100 millilitres. If you are caught and suspected of being over thelegally allowed amount of alcohol, traffic authorities are allowed to take asample of your breath also known as to breathalyse the driver, which needs tobe less than 0,24 milligrams per 1000 millilitres of breath two hours of theconsumption of alcohol .
Following this, if your exceed the allowed limitauthorities are then allowed to keep you for further assessment involving ablood test, you are not allowed to refuse this and the authorities have the rightsto imprison you if necessary. When driving underthe influence of alcohol and you get caught means you will need to appear incourt. If you’re found guilty, you could face up to 6 years in jail.
You couldalso be responsible for fines of up to R120 000 and your driver’s license maybe suspended. The driver could also be faced with a criminal record which canhave serious consequences for the rest of your life that will affect going tovarsity applying for a job one day. Depending on previous sentences againstyou, as well as the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you will face aminimum fine of R2 000 or a two-year prison sentence, or both. Accidents that take place due to drunk driving is aterrifying event that often leads to physical harm such as devastating car accidentswhich could lead to extreme damage or even death. It could also result infamilies with lifelong expenses to take care of their child, which is puttingstrain on the family.
When people go through such a devastating experience andsurvive, they at risk of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).PTSDwill occur when the driver experiences flashbacks of what happened at the crashscene, often remembering the nightmare that has changed their lives forever.These memories often appear when they ride or drive a car, or when they seeimages that remind them of the accident, or even when reading about similar incidentson social media. Losing a loved one due to another person’s carelessness causesstrong emotions, especially anger as the family’s life changes forever. How to avoid drinking and driving. The first thing a person cando is make the choice themselves not to drink and drive.
Educating the youth,your family members are very important. They must know and understand thedangers of drinking and driving as well as the legal consequences of theseactions in South Africa. Volunteer with an organization to end drinking anddriving, this will help to reach out to more individuals and get the word across.It’s important to educate and be educated on the affects, on not only thedriver but other pedestrians other families and passengers in both the driversvehicle and other vehicles.
Safe driving contains a lot of benefits the most obviousreason for driving carefully is safety. Drivers that are reckless putthemselves, their passengers and pedestrians at risk when they drive. Driving carefullyis financially gaining such as reducing the expenses on the damaged vehiclesafter a collision and insurance for the vehicle and fuel. By driving safely youare setting a good example to many people. The most important benefit is youare less likely to pass away.It’s very important to remember its “Better to Arrive Soberand Late than Never.” Thank you