Drinking and driving is a terrible idea and should be avoided. Grab a taxi or download Uber, there simply must be another way.
Let’s say I get behind the wheel after a few too many drinks. Next I get pulled over by a Police Officer who suspects that I am over the limit… what happens next?
1. Pulled over and the Police Officer suspects that I have been drinking and that I am over the limit.
2. Breathalyzer proves that I am over the limit (0.24mg per 1000ml).
3. Taken by SAPS member for blood tests at an alcohol testing center.
4. My car may be taken to the Police Station and keys held until my release.
5. Registered medical practitioner takes a blood sample and relevant forms are completed, which includes details of my physical appearance and ability to perform certain tasks, such as the Romberg Test to check my stability or lack thereof. Necessary force may be used. Blood test needs to be performed within 2 hours of my arrest or being pulled over by members of SAPS. I therefore need to make a note of the time period.
6. I should make my phone call to Legal Hero (or a loved one who will alert Legal Hero). Important information: Time of arrest, Police Station where I am being held, Charge, my policy number or ID number, next of kin details.
7. I am placed in a holding cell at the Police Station (usually 4 hours to sober up), but this may vary according to my level of intoxication.
8. During this time Legal Hero contacts the Police Station to firstly confirm my arrest and then to try arrange Police Bail.
9. Once all paperwork has been processed and I am released on Police Bail (with or without having to pay bail) and once sober, I will be informed to return to Court for a quick appearance, which will be my first appearance. My case will then be postponed in order for the State to proceed with its investigation which will included: obtaining witness statements, formal procedures attended to by the arresting Officer (this is called the chain of events), obtaining blood results from the appointed lab. This process of investigation may take several months to complete.
10. Return to court for further appearances and most probably further postponements up until the State has concluded its investigation and is ready to proceed with trial.
11. Final appearance in Court for the hearing/s of my matter.
12. Possible outcome: Criminal record, jail time, large fines and/ or license suspended.
13. There is a small chance that a diversion may be granted (community service/ etc. with no Criminal record).
THE LEGAL LIMIT ACCORDING TO THE ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 93 OF 1996
Breathalyzer: 0.24mg per 1000ml
Blood test: 0.05g per 100ml
Whilst driving a vehicle OR occupying the driver’s seat of which the engine is running… on a public road.