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 DRUNK DRIVING

Drunk driving, also known as driving under the influence (DUI), is a reality in South Africa, and whilst we in no way excuse this practise, our clients deserve to have their rights and interests protected.

Drunken driving is a very controversial aspect of the law due to the constant exposure in the press, the changing procedures, the quality and competence of some law enforcement officials and the moral views thereon.

How we can assist you

As your specialist drunk driving defence attorneys, we would ensure that you are properly assisted and advised throughout their matter, from the first appearance to trial hearing. We endeavour to uphold our clients rights at all times through the process. Our experts have first hand experience with the latest developments in the court system and the manner in which to approach the system, giving our client the best opportunity to be represented efficiently.

What is the legal driving limit for drinking and driving?

According to the Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996, no person is allowed to drive a vehicle on a public road, or occupy the drivers seat of a car which engine is running while the concentration of alcohol is 0,05 grams per 100 millilitres of blood or 0,24 milligrams per 1 000 millilitres of breath.

I was arrested at 22:00pm and only had my blood tested at 12:20am, will this affect my case?

Yes, the Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 stipulates that once a person is arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, that their blood has to be tested within 2 hours of arrest. If the blood is tested after the time limit, the results will not be admissible in court and will therefore not count as evidence against you. Unless there is other evidence to the contrary, this can result in your matter being dismissed.

I am worried that if I am arrested at a road block for drunken driving that it will result in a conviction. Is there any hope for me?

With reference to the above answer on the 2 hour time limit between being arrested and having blood test taken, there are many procedures that the law enforcement officials have to adhere to when arresting and testing individuals suspected of drunken driving.

It is the onus of the State to prove that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. This means that if your Defence attorney/advocate can show doubt as to the evidence presented to the court by the State, then this may indicate to the court the accused is not guilty.

It is very important to observe the officials to ensure that they are adhering to the correct procedure. If they have not adhered to the correct procedure, it may affect the State’s case against the suspect in court, which means that it will be harder for them to prove that the suspect is guilty and easier for the Defence to prove that the evidence lead by the State is inadmissible, or weak.

In the position of an arrested person suspected of drunken driving, it is important to take note of the following:
  • 1. Time between arrest and testing.
  • 2. The expiry date of the blood test kit,
  • 3. Was the blood test kit clean and was it opened in from of you?
  • 4. Was there a police official present when the medical practitioner took your blood?
Remember the names and surnames of all the officials involved in your arrest and subsequent blood tests.
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