- A new zero-tolerance law is set to be introduced in June this year
- If a driver is found behind the wheel with a blood-alcohol limit of over 0% will be charged
- A new demerit system is also planned which will allow for the suspension of driver's licenses
The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act which was being touted by the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula in November 2019 is set to take effect in June this year.
The Aarto Act takes a zero-tolerance approach to drinking and driving with a 0% blood-alcohol limit.
Mbalula made it clear that the police will not tolerate any alcohol in your system.
“We are going to be intolerant to drinking and driving. We’re going beyond saying there’s some percentage – it must be zero percent. It’s going to be zero. No alcohol in the blood – and the law is going to bite with regard to that”.
If caught driving with a blood-alcohol percentage of over 0%, drivers will be charged with Driving Under the Influence of Liquor.
“Depending on prior convictions against you, as well as the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you face a minimum fine of R2 000 or a two-year prison sentence, or both. You may also lose your driver’s licence, or have it suspended. And, of course, you will have a criminal record.”
The Aarto Act will also phase in a new demerit system which aims to deter people from driving dangerously and reduce deaths. A third of all arrests over the festive season last year were for drunk drivers.
Each infraction of the law would result in points being removed from the driver's license and after more than 12 points are lost then the driver will have their license suspended.
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