A new driving law being put in place by June 2020 will make 0% the new legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers, meaning that no one may drink and drive at all.
This law forms part of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act proposed by Transport minister Fikile Mbalula.
The National Road Traffic Act (NRA) currently makes it legal for drivers to get behind the wheel of a car with no more than 0,05 gram blood-alcohol concentration per 100 millilitres and 0,24 milligrams breath alcohol content per 1000 millilitres.
With the Aarto Act, individuals may not have a trace of alcohol in their system while driving.
“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,” Mbalula said.
In addition to the 0% limit, the Aarto act will also be rolling out a new demerit system in the hopes of improving road safety and reducing fatalities. Demerits can be earned for a number of infractions such as driving without a seatbelt or while using/holding a cellphone, and these infractions carry different weights. For example, drunk driving may earn you six points, while driving without a licence is worth four points.
Those with more than 12 demerits will have their licence suspended. Every point beyond the twelfth demerit will result in three months of suspension.
Also read: Driving demerit system to become law