If you do drive anyway, here are three things that might happen to you.
If you get stopped by an officer and are suspected to be drinking and driving, you will be requested to submit to a test. If you fail the test because you are over the limit you will be arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence of Liquor. According to SAPS, you will be held in custody until you are able to post bail (in certain instances bail may be denied). Depending on prior convictions against you, as well as the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you face a minimum fine of R2 000 or a two-year prison sentence, or both. You may also lose your driver's licence, or have it suspended. And, of course, you will have a criminal record!
Diminished Driving Skills
Alcohol has a negative effect on your driving abilities. Your level of alertness is compromised while reaction time is considerably slower. Alcoholalert.com have found that if driving under the influence:
- Your perception abilities are affected; you are less likely to observe traffic signs, bikers, pedestrians or cars coming from the opposite side;
- You have less control on your reactions in traffic situations; your eyes are slower and they remain focused more time on the same object;
- Your space perspective narrows; you tend to focus more straightforward and don't look to right or left;
- Your reaction time increases and your reflexes diminish; it takes you more time to respond fast and adapt to the traffic stimuli;
- You will find it more difficult to drive in a straight line;
- You are less able to judge distances and speed;
- You may have a tendency to be overconfident and put yourself in danger
Risk to others
According to the South African Medical Research Council, six of ten drivers who died in car crashes had very high levels of alcohol in their systems. This points to alcohol playing a major role in the high number of road fatalities. Drunk pedestrians also form a significant percentage of road crash fatalities. Drunk drivers predominantly do not wear seat-belts. A drunk driver is a risk to ALL road users. The numbers in Mzansi speak for themselves. Read more stats here.
Image: James Palinsad, Via Creative Commons, Llnk and license here.