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Drinking and driving remains a serious problem in South Africa – especially during the December holiday season…students are out celebrating their independence, companies are having their end of year parties and employees are taking the opportunity to ‘let their hair down’ after a hard year.
According to Andrew Le Roux, CE of Old Mutual iWYZE, it is frightening how many South African drivers still risk taking to the road after having a few drinks.
“We all know that it’s not a good idea to drink and drive, but when you’re out having a good time it’s easy to lose track of how much you’ve had to drink,” Le Roux says. “You might think you’re fine, but if you’ve had more than two beers or a single glass of wine, you may test over the legal limit, depending on the period of time that has passed since your last drink and your weight.”
“It’s obviously best not to drink and drive at all,” says Le Roux “and if you do have a drink, arrange transport home or have a designated driver. If you don’t, it could cost you:
Your driver’s license. If you are caught drinking and driving you risk being arrested, with possible prosecution which could result in you losing your driver’s license. You could even end up with a permanent criminal record if prosecuted and this, in turn, could have implications on future employment.
Your freedom. You will be taken to jail if you are caught drinking and driving – and even if you don’t serve a jail sentence, it will have a major impact on your life. You may lose your job, struggle to obtain credit and be limited to where you can travel due to your criminal record.
Your life or that of someone else. Worst of all, by drinking and driving you could kill or permanently disable yourself, a member of your family or other innocent people if you are involved in an accident.
“Plus, if you injure yourself or someone else whilst driving under the influence of alcohol and not over the legal limit, neither your insurance company nor the Road Accident Fund will pay your claim or assist you financially, as they have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drink driving.” Andrew Le Roux continues.
“If you are going to drink, even if it’s just one drink, then you shouldn’t drive at all. Rather arrange for a lift home than have to live with your conscience and the financial loss of an alcohol-related car accident.” Le Roux concludes.
Old Mutual iWYZE launched the iDriveWYZE initiative in June 2012 to educate and inform the public about the dangers and impact of drunk driving. Together with their partners, who include Breathalysers.co.za and Drive Dry, they establish stands at local events around the country to raise awareness amongst the attendees about the implications of drinking and driving.
Visitors to the iWYZE stands are provided with educational material and encouraged to take a free breathalyser test to check their alcohol levels during and before leaving the event. In addition, they sell disposable breathalysers to attendees who want to be able to test themselves in the future and the funds are donated to SADD and the Pebbles Project.
Between January and August 2014, iWYZE breathalysed 11 476 individuals at 52 events around the country, and raised awareness in many more about the dangers of drinking and driving.
To find out more about how iDriveWYZE educates and saves lives, visit the iDriveWYZE website, join them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter @iDriveWYZE