Stopped For Drinking and Driving in South Africa? What Is Next? | Legal Articles


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Stopped For Drinking and Driving in South Africa? What Is Next?

As we put the festive season behind us, many people who had travelled to various holiday destinations will be heading back to where they are ordinarily based. Exercising caution and responsibility on the road can never be overemphasized, one life lost on the road, is one too many.

In this article, we shall briefly discuss the process that ensues once one is pulled over by law enforcement on allegations of drunken driving. This guide is aimed at equipping motorists with knowledge on how the process ought to be, so that their rights are given effect to.

Please note that law enforcement agencies in some center’s, have at times suspended the use of breathalyzers to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, whereas in some center’s new technology in breathalyzers has been introduced.

In this article however, we will discuss the general procedure as it usually is.

drinking and driving procedure - attorneys Johannesburg

What happens when I get pulled over and I've been drinking?

  1. Upon being pulled over, the law enforcement officer (officer) will ask the motorist if he/she has been drinking, to which the motorist ought to answer as honestly and truthfully as possible, as the officer will most likely ask the motorist to do a breathalyzer test shortly thereafter.
  2. The motorist will be requested to take the breathalyzer test, whose recording will be noted by the officer.
  3. In the event that the recording is above the legal limit of 0.24mg per 1000ml, the motorist will be accompanied by law enforcement to go for withdrawal of a blood sample at the hospital, clinic or a blood withdrawal facility.
  4. The blood samples will be taken from the motorist, whereafter the driver will be taken back to the police station for processing. This is where the Notice of Rights is furnished to the driver and bail is processed.
  5. Sometimes the driver, depending on the level of drunkenness, may be detained in the cells until they are sober to leave the station on their own.
  6. After processing, the driver will be given the bail receipt, Notice of Rights and Notice to Appear at a Magistrate’s Court with the applicable jurisdiction.
  7. The matter may be postponed to a date in future when, the prosecution expects the blood sample results would be available for the matter to proceed. Alternatively, the prosecution may postpone the matter indefinitely and advise the motorist that he/she will receive summons to appear once the blood sample results are ready.

Van Deventer & Van Deventer Inc. - Attorneys Johannesburg

It is advisable to seek legal assistance at any point after law enforcement officers have decided to process the driver for drunken driving charges. This is because even though we encourage motorists not to engage in drunken driving, the onus still remains on law enforcement agencies together with the prosecution to prove the case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

We assist parties in criminal matters and a host of other services as espoused on our interactive website and social media pages.

Contact us for comprehensive assistance.  

The information and material published on this website is provided for general purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We make every effort to ensure that the content is updated regularly and to offer the most current and accurate information. Please consult one of our lawyers on any specific legal problem or matter. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage, whether direct or consequential, which may arise from reliance on the information contained in these pages.

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