Total booze ban for SA drivers

2013-05-03 09:26

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The government plans to implement a total ban on alcohol consumption by drivers, it was reported on Friday.

An inter-ministerial committee on alcohol and substance abuse, led by social develop minister Bathabile Dlamini, decided to approach the Cabinet to present a case for zero tolerance of alcohol on the roads, The Sowetan reported.

At the moment, drivers may have up to 0.05ml of alcohol in their blood.

Transport department spokesman told the newspaper: “Drivers continue to disregard the alcohol limit.”


"Medical research has shown that a drop of alcohol [in the blood] leads to [drivers] not being able to control their vehicles. Most of the accidents are caused by drunk people on our roads."

He said the department also supported the banning of alcohol advertisements as it made people drink more, and attracted new drinkers.

Social development department spokeswoman said the draft bill would be presented to the Cabinet before public comment was sought.

Automobile Association of SA spokesman Gary Ronald told The Sowetan: "A total ban on alcohol for drivers in Brazil had led to a 30 percent drop in road fatalities and injuries."


  • Scott Edwards - 2013-05-03 09:45

    I get where this is coming from, but letting governments ban things left right and center seems like the beginning of a slippery slope

      BLUESILVER2012 - 2013-05-03 10:24

      Scott, you off the mark here, alcohol and cars/bikes don't do well and looking at SA stats, drunk driving plays a HUGE part in road deaths. If this means cops will stop more cars and check for drunk driving, then they'll also do road worthy checks...etc...because no speed camera can check for drunk driving. The only people that will whine about this new law will be people who drink and drive and those ass-wipes we don't need on our roads.

      Scott Edwards - 2013-05-03 14:04

      Point taken. I don't drink and drive and I'd prefer not to have my family/friends on the road with drunk drivers all over the place.

      George Anderson - 2014-07-05 03:26

      Stats say that 20% of all accidents are caused by drunk drivers. What that tells me is that 80% are caused by sober drivers. So keep the sober drivers off the road and let us drunks do the driving

      Arie Vd Plaats - 2014-07-06 11:39

      @George Anderson, I seriously doubt your stats statement. It is more likely that approximately ALL accident involve drunken drivers in one way or another.

  • James Williams - 2013-05-03 09:53

    This is great news. I will support Bathabile Dlamini 100% in this. Give that man a Bells !....but only if he's not driving.

  • BLUESILVER2012 - 2013-05-03 10:25

    About bloody time....will take the guess work out of how much did you drink...now you drink you off the road and how could that be a bad thing????

  • Johann du Toit - 2013-05-03 10:47

    Ok so no more driving when your sick and have had some cough medicine..

  • Colin Windell - 2013-05-03 10:52

    While I support the concept, this government has a history of not thinking things through before implementing legislation. Several things have an alcohol content - cough mixture, for example. Some times people take medicines/foodstuff etc without realising this. There is not enough (unless you drink the bottle) to make you 'drunk' but could be enough to criminalise you for it on a 'total' ban policy. To be a 'total' ban every susbstance containing alcohol in any form would have to be prominently labelled.

  • Graham Cooper - 2013-05-03 10:53

    And what about the pedestrians as they are the ones lifting the numbers , are they allowed to be drunk in the middle of the road. I agree a lot of us are guilty in SA.

  • taggert - 2013-05-03 10:53

    This would also have far reaching consequences for Restaurants and Sports Bars / Pubs where most are battling to survive due to reduced disposable incomes, and the ongoing recession. There will be closures and further unemployment.Let's keep the limit we have and ENFORCE it, creating a zero level will see drivers prosecuted the following morning after a dinner party at home, or after cough mixture etc.

  • Rory Litchfield - 2013-05-03 11:34

    while i applaud the intention, how will this be enforced ? rape and murder cant even be stopped !

      Tshilidzi Choppa Phuravhathu - 2013-05-03 12:36

      never mind that, bribery in this case is the bigger threat...

  • Mishack Tintswalo Hlungwani - 2013-05-03 11:38

    Agg! Don't u have something better to do? Foetsek, i'll drink, ban or no ban.

      Saffa in East Asia - 2013-05-03 12:09

      You are an idiot.

  • Janti Cloete - 2013-05-03 11:42

    Wonder what the stats will be the day Taxi's gets banned.....

  • Neil Kroese - 2013-05-03 12:10

    Again, great idea, but they cannot even enforce existing laws? Stop trying to legislate, rather implement and enforce...

  • Martin Smook - 2013-05-03 13:55

    The drunk drivers on the roads causing accidents have limits exceeding 0.05ml alcohol in their blood. If this law could be enforced then the accident rate will come down. Problem is, the authorities are not able to enforce this law, they are not able to get rid of corruption in the public sector, they cannot deliver school handbooks, murder and rape cannot be controlled, car hijackings are out of control. Get real man!

      oi - 2014-07-04 19:28

      Totally agree.

  • Peter Mulders - 2013-05-03 14:38

    Stupid, short-sighted ramblings from another ANC bible-basher. The same ones that want to ban alcohol sales on Sundays across the board because they think it's the good Christian thing to do. The reason the limit is in place is because of the fact that using mouthwash or drinking cough medication will transfer enough alcohol into your bloodstream to give a positive reading. That limit is a legal requirement. Same as the 10km/h allowable on speeding infringements. It allows for equipment error and external factors having an effect on the numbers. And there are far-reaching effects from a law like this, especially in a country that has no viable alternative to driving oneself home after having a beer over lunch or a glass of wine with dinner.

  • Franziska Sukow - 2013-05-03 14:44

    Not that I'm against controlling drunk drivers, but here's a novel idea: how about banning the breaking of traffic laws? Because simply having a ban in place will automagically decrease road fatalities (it also makes the lawmakers look good as they can now claim to actually be doing something).

  • Steve Quinn - 2013-05-03 15:25

    I think this raises questions on the impairment contributed by a couple of beers or a glass of wine. If we're talking about giving someone a criminal record (which we are) for any consumption of alcohol before driving then we have to compare that person's driving capability with say ... talking/texting on cellphone , smoking in the car , doing your make up in the car or (my personal favourite) sorting out your kids in the back of your car while driving. If any of these should be found (with some dodgy government research no doubt) to be more of a distraction than someone with a couple of beers in them , then surely there's a case for giving these people a criminal record as well since the offense should be seen as more serious ? I'd love to see some mother getting pulled over, arrested and licence taken away for giving her kid a clip on the ear whilst driving because he was kicking the back of her seat ?? :-) I think a more positive note would to be to enforce those laws that are already catered for within the our system before introducing more of them.

  • Jacques Pieterse - 2013-05-03 17:01

    Most of the accidents are caused by drunk people on our roads - where this stat coming from? Because the taxi industry are not committed to Road Safety in South Africa and the Transport department has no balls to control them, you will have a zero drop in road fatalities!

  • Jason Johnson - 2013-05-03 21:11

    excellent and about time

  • Achmed Mabulela - 2013-05-03 22:09

    I am all for zero tolerance, but how do we ensure that this is enforced and account for any other possible false positives such as taking medicines or chems taken orally? The government should adress the root cause of what plagues this country. I smell an illegally awarded tender for the devices needed to arm all of Metro PD to stand on every possible busy road and annoy us to death with constant testing, dont even wanna think about what kind of bribery will ensue.

  • Bob Wowzer - 2013-05-03 23:38

    This is what we get for having people who can't handle their drinks getting behind the wheel. These morons take everyone else down with them.

  • Phoenixx - 2013-05-04 11:00

    Idiotic. The CURRENT law of 0.05% is FINE - just freakin enforce it!!!

  • George Pito - 2013-05-07 17:58

    Does that include drunk pedestrians. Then there is so mnay people on the road that cannot control ther vehicles cause they got there licenses from the corrupt sources.

  • Gerrie Botha - 2014-07-04 18:58

    This is long overdue. They should have done this many years ago, the all those lives could have been saved. when caught take their drivers License away permanently

      oi - 2014-07-04 19:31

      Crap. I want one statistic or fact which shows how anyone with 0,05 or less has ever had an accident has killed anyone. When you get too tough with your petty laws you create an unhappy nation.

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