Once South Africa’s new drunk driving laws are passed later this year, you won’t be allowed behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after even one drink.
According to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, the National Road Traffic Amendment – 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.
This, King Price warns, will have serious implications for all drivers.
When you’re involved in an accident, and found to have alcohol in your system, you might not just be on the wrong side of the law, but you will also impact your insurance, said King Price.
“Insurers have the right to refuse to pay accident claims if the driver’s blood alcohol level is over the legal limit. This clause is included in almost every car insurance policy in South Africa,” said Wynand van Vuuren, customer experience partner at King Price.
“Previously, it was difficult to determine whether people were over the legal limit, and whether their driving ability was in fact impaired. The new zero-tolerance approach removes this grey area.”
Therefore, if you’re guilty of this offence, your insurer will have no obligation to meet your claim in the event of an accident.
Additionally, it is also likely that your insurance premiums will increase – as you will now be considered a higher risk, said King Price.
If you’re convicted of drunk driving or have your licence suspended, your current insurer may even cancel your policy – and you could find it difficult to get car insurance at all in the future.
The company said that it may not be all bad news, because if there is a reduction in accidents due to fewer drunk driving incidents in the longer term, there is a possibility that premiums will come down.
The new law won’t see existing policies being altered either, as most policies already stipulate that drivers must abide by the law.
The new blood-alcohol limit will therefore immediately apply in your insurance agreement once the law comes into effect, said the company.