No more beers at a restaurant and driving home once South Africa’s new drunk-driving laws are passed later this year. South Africans will soon not be able to drive after having one drink once the National Road Traffic Amendment Act comes into effect.
According to News24, Transport minister Fikile Mbalula says the National Road Traffic Amendment Act, which will be in force by June 2021, will totally prohibit the use and consumption of alcohol by all motor vehicle operators on South African public roads.
At the moment it is still legal to drive if your blood-alcohol level is under 0.05 per 100ml.
The zero-tolerance drunk driving approach, however, has serious implications for South African drivers. If you are in an accident after having one drink, you won’t only be in trouble with the law but it can also impact your insurance.
Your insurance will have the right to refuse to pay for accident claims if your blood-alcohol level is over the legal limit. This clause is included in almost every car insurance policy.
Your premium will increase as you will be considered a higher risk on the road. If you are convicted, have your license endorsed or suspended, your insurer has every right to cancel your policy and you may find it difficult to get car insurance in future.
The new law may reduce the number of accidents caused by drunken driving, but will not immediately affect premiums. Fewer accidents in future may see premiums come down due to lower claims costs for insurers.
The main point is if you are going to drink and drive, be sure to have alternative transport or use the e-hailing services.