A two minute video on the dangers of Drinking and Walking.

Nearly half of the national road fatalities are caused by Drinking and Walking.

If you’ve had one too many, call a taxi. Call a friend. Get home safely. Make a plan.


Drunken Driving

Drunken driving in South Africa is a serious offence and can result in severe penalties. The Automobile Association (AA) reports that the rule of drinking and driving is simple: “Don’t do it”

Getting caught drunken driving in South Africa means that you will have to appear in court and if found guilty, you could face up to as much as six years in jail. In addition to having a criminal record, you could also land fines of up to R120 000 as well as have your licence suspended.

“Drunk driving is one of the biggest threats to Road Safety in South Africa,” says the AA (Automobile Association of South Africa). “More than 21,000 people have been arrested on our roads in the last year as a result of drinking and driving, and it has been shown that 50% of people who die on our roads are over the limit.”

According to Dr Charles Parry of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Group under the Medical Research Council (MRC) 40% of drivers who die on the road have alcohol levels in excess of .08 gms / 100 ml. In South Africa, the legal blood alcohol limit is less than 0.05g per 100ml while the legal breath alcohol limit stands at less than 0.24mg in 1000ml of breath.

  • In simple terms, this means that two drinks in one hour will put you over the legal limit.
  • If you are planning to drink, the general rule is to drink nothing more than 1 unit of alcohol per hour if you weigh 68kg or more.
  • Our bodies can only process one unit of alcohol per hour.

Sadly while South Africa has strict rules towards drunken driving, tough sentences are very rarely given to those who are guilty of the act. Only 7% of those who are guilty ever get sentenced.

Until the laws are more strictly enforced, many South Africans are likely to continue thinking that drinking and driving as well as speeding are acceptable acts.

Aware.org strongly condemns drinking and driving.
If you’re going to drive, you shouldn’t even have one drink.

Drinking and Walking

In South Africa, pedestrians account for 35-40% of all road fatalities and a large reason for this in addition to drivers being under the influence of alcohol is pedestrians being under the influence of alcohol.

Unfortunately in South Africa, pedestrians who drink and walk are very rarely regulated be it in bigger cities or in smaller towns.

When alcohol is in a person’s system, it causes them to lose their sense of focus or orientation. As a result a drunken pedestrian may mistake a fast car as moving slowly or a car that is far away as being close and this could result in death.

When a pedestrian is drunk, a driver may knock or run over them through no fault of their own. Often when this happens, the driver cannot see the pedestrian or the incident happened when it was the driver who had right-of-way.

During December 2017, it was found that up to 60% of pedestrians who were killed on the roads of Cape Town had alcohol in their system.

Cape Town MEC Donald Grant highlighted: “It is very difficult with pedestrians, especially the ones who drink,” “The problem is big in the metro area where people are seen walking on the highways. This has also contributed to the high rate of deaths we have had on our roads.

“We have seen people walking under a footbridge on the highway and that is the problem. We need to look at spatial planning, because people will always take the shortest route to get to their destination. When they walk drunk, that is even worse.”

In a similar way to drunken driving, drunken pedestrians are needlessly killed on a regular basis. If you are planning to drink, it is advisable not to cross busy roads. Rather make use of transport to get home and do not be the one who is driving.

Apps such as Taxify and Uber have become popular amongst those who are planning to drink heavily. These apps indirectly save lives as they have reduced the number of drunken drivers and drunk pedestrians on the road.