Is It really time to be jolly?


As we are all awaiting the New Year and what it will bring, most of us are also planning our new year’s party. It’s the time to be jolly, a time for parties and a time for New Year’s resolutions, which few of us will keep past the first month.

During these festivities few of us really think of the consequences of our actions during this time. Drinking and driving takes its toll and the famous expression “I were such a good driver, even drunk I could make it home safe” gets heard around every corner. Sorry to inform you, it’s the other drivers around you, avoiding your swerving and reckless driving that actually helped you to get home safe, NOT YOU!!!

South Africans count under the highest consumers of alcohol in the world, no wonder that 53% of road users who die on our roads had an alcohol level over the legal limit. These fatal accidents cost the country over R52 billion a year, money that could have been used for other necessities.

Most people go to work the day after the BIG PARTY, still being legally over the limit. No amount of black coffee, cold showers, fresh air or Cream soda will get alcohol out of your bloodstream faster.

Woman metabolizes alcohol faster and therefore would reach the limit of 0.05gr per 100ml blood faster.

There are many factors which determine how you as an individual reach the limit, for e.g.:

–        The volume and strength of dilutant (e.g. Coke, Sprite etc.)

–        The type of meal you had before or during drinking

–        Medication and operations

–        The water content of your organs

Due to these factors each individual would react differently to drinking, no set pattern of behaviour exists.

So how much is too much, a question asked by many and known by few. What follows here is some information that would assist in keeping you safe, if you read and listen and act on it.

A basic guideline is that 2 drinks in 1 hour will put you legally over the limit.

Eating between drinks, having a glass of water in between drinks and to stop drinking at least 1 ½ hours before driving, could mean the difference between being a criminal and getting home safely.

An officer of the Law, suspecting that you are under the influence of alcohol would request you to take a breathalyser test. You may refuse this test but you would be subjected to a blood test, which you can’t refuse. Blood can be forcibly withdrawn from a driver who refuses to submit. Any physical resistance would be considered “defeating the ends of Justice”.

Your best route would be to give your assistance during a roadblock, make sure you have your license, that you are not under the influence of alcohol and that your vehicle is in a road worthy condition. You have nothing to fear if the above is in order.

Let’s keep ourselves, our loved ones and others safe this year. Drinking and driving makes you a criminal, don’t endanger others by your inconsideration.



AA Traveller


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1 Response

  1. Thank you Lady Amberstorm. A very needed article this time of the year!

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