The South African Police Service (SAPS) have just revealed their 2017/2018 annual crime statistics and one alarming figure stands out. The number of drivers arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol has increased by 14.8%, with the total number of cases hitting 86,160. However, what’s even more concerning is that it’s females who are acting recklessly by drink-driving and are therefore increasing the risk on South Africa’s roads.
A rise in female DUI arrests
According to the South African Government, Gauteng traffic officials are arresting more females than males for driving under the influence of alcohol. Ismail Vadi, the MEC for Roads and Transport states: “We are picking this up at various roadblocks…We are finding that we are arresting more women for drunk driving than men.” This was also the case at the tail end of 2017 where Durban police stated that of the 192 DUI arrests over 10 days, most were women.
Why are South African women drinking and driving?
The Times reports that South African women are the heaviest drinkers in Africa. In comparison, South African males are the seventh heaviest drinkers. 41.2% of South African women admit to binge drinking and consume, on average, 60ml of alcohol per week. So, why are they then getting behind the wheel? According to VOA, these females are hopping in their cars and putting others at risk, simply because they know they can get away. Despite a minimum fine of R2 000 and a two-year prison sentence, VOA states that just 6% of those arrested for DUI are convicted of the crime due to the police accepting bribes. There is also a backlog of blood-alcohol tests in the country and courts will often abandon these cases.
Know the law
The SAPS states that an individual’s blood must not contain more than 0.05% of alcohol. Should you be caught driving under the influence, this leading Mesa DUI lawyer firm states that it’s essential you seek legal representation, otherwise “if unrepresented, seeking dismissal or reduction of your charges is difficult and quite improbable.” Of course, the most sensible thing to do if you’ve had even one drink, is to call a taxi to take you home and to come back for your car the following day when all the alcohol you’ve consumed is out of your system.
DUI arrests have increased in the past year in South Africa, with local police forces stating that they’re arresting more women than men. Therefore, it’s essential women are educated on the dangers of DUI and are provided with alternative modes of transport to take them home.