You are a sibling, cousin, child, grandchild, partner, niece or nephew, aunt or uncle, friend. Your life means something in this world. Imagine that you decided to go out, have a good time, one thing led to another and… Now you’re dead.
Your ‘friend’ was driving, it was in the middle of nowhere and now the car is totalled. He had time before the ambulance came. Time to pull your dead body into the driver’s seat because he survived and you didn’t. He didn’t want to get into trouble. You had a family, a job, a reason to live. Now all of that was taken away from you. Maybe if you both had called the Uber like your mother suggested, you’d be greeting her with a drunken smile instead of greeting her with death.
Driving under the influence is not a joke. The story I told, actually happened to someone I know and the affects can be quite harsh. Driving under the influence is when a person drives a motor-vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are arrested in South Africa, currently, for drunk driving, you will be granted bail under the Criminal Procedure Act, and it will be offered and granted at the police station if it is not as serious as a schedule 5 or 6. It is against the law to 1) drive a vehicle and 2) be sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle while it is running, while you are intoxicated. This is stated under The National Road Traffic Act, Act 3 of 1996 amended.
Some facts about and around the topic are:
4 in 5 people who drink are men. In November 2018, more than 800 arrests are made in connection with drunk driving. JMPD conducted more than 500 operations, yielding 50 public arrests, the discontinuation of 22 vehicles and more than 100 arrests.
Drunk driving in a high risk of safety in South Africa, 50% of the road accidents where death occurs, have a blood alcohol level of above the legal limit which is 0,05 grams/100 millilitres.
Physically, all your reactions are slowed down due to alcohol. Therefore when driving it can be a problem for if you don’t do something when its needed because you might hurt yourself. You often get sick and dizzy. Emotionally, alcohol makes you delirious and fearful.
As a new driver, I urge you to call that Uber, to assign that designated driver, to make arrangements for someone to pick you up if you are drinking so that you can greet your mom. So that you mom doesn’t have to stress that you are coming back in a body bag. Make sure to keep within your own physical limits. To not feel pressured into doing something you don’t want to just because everyone else is doing. And above all I urge you not to get behind the wheel while you’ve been drinking because you could end up killing yourself or someone else.
It is important to drive safely because you never know what might happen. You might end up hurting yourself or someone else using the roads such as a cyclist, a pedestrian or another motor-vehicle user. The benefits for all of these categories are so that you are driving alive, so that your heart is still beating and so that you won’t have the weight of killing someone on your shoulders. You can’t control how other people drive, but you can control how you drive and whether or not you’re following the rules of the road.