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Problem of Driving Under the Influence

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South Africa is deemed as the world’s worst when it comes to drunk driving. Out of 195 countries, South Africa is rated number 1 in the world. South Africa is known to have a 58% drunk driving rate. With Canada following and then China.

In the national road traffic act 93 of 1996, it states that no one shall operate or even sit in the driver’s seat while the car is on if they’re over the legal limit. But what is considered the “legal limit.”

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In South Africa, a regular driver should not have above 0.05 grams per 100 milliliters and a professional driver should not have more than 0.02 grams per 100 milliliters. Most accidents occur when the driver is about 0.08 grams per 100 milliliters. “The rule of thumb” as they call it is to have no more than 1 unit of alcohol per hour, based on the average weight of a 68 Kg adult. To put this in layman’s terms: drivers should not have more than 75 ml of wine and 25ml of spirits(gin, rum, tequila) equal to 1 unit. The one-shot is equivalent to half a unit. 250ml of wine, one spirit cooler, one beer, one cider, and one cocktail are equivalent to more than one unit of alcohol.

If you are caught driving while intoxicated you may face up to 6 years in jail as well as an R120 000 fine and your license revoked. Besides the legal ramifications of your action, you could have the death of someone, a loved one, or a family member on your hands.

Consequences of drinking while driving are as follows: 1. Poor judgment and decision making, as known alcohol can impair your judgment and therefore slow down your reaction time by 12 milliseconds which is equivalent to 0.12 seconds. So when if I had to throw a ball at (person’s name) he/she would generally react by instinct and would therefore catch the ball in less than a millisecond but while intoxicated would take 120 milliseconds to even notice that I have thrown a ball at her/him. To put this in a broad perspective, a person traveling at 70 miles per hour would now travel an additional 4 meters before reacting to a road sign or robot.

2. Decrease in vision, when intoxicated your vision becomes impaired meaning there is a possibility of seeing double or just seeing wrong. While others see red, meaning stop, you might see green, meaning go, or yellow, meaning careful, and decide to go through because you think you’re right or just taking a risky chance and you end up in an accident.

3. legal ramifications, if found intoxicated or rather over the legal limit, you will be charged and fined or put in jail for your poor decisions.

Drunk driving can also have psychological, physical, and emotional effects. The physical aspect of this would obviously be the injuries sustained from the accident and even if the driver is not injured the possible passenger and/or other vehicle bumped could have injuries that mean life or death. The psychological aspect of drunk driving could lead to self-harm and/or death by suicide. When people go through such an experience the survivor could develop PTSD from either being the victim or worse the drunk driver themselves. In most cases, a drunk driver would develop PTSD from the thought of someone else’s death on their hands. The process of healing from an accident emotionally lasts for a long time, feelings of anger and misery may consume the survivor’s mind making the emotional stage of healing take longer than any other.  Keagan Lazarus was a drunk driver who was involved in an accident and had a second chance at life and he made the decision to stop his ways.

My only advice would be to abstain from drinking when you are aware of the fact that you will be driving back home and in the incident that you do have a drink I strongly advise that you leave your car at the bar, pub, or club and rather take an uber home and I cannot stress this enough DO NOT and I mean DO NOT get into a car with your friend who is tripping and falling over the floor do the responsible thing and get you and yourself an uber. That R100-R300 is a better amount to spend on your life than the R20 000-70 000 your friends and family will have to spend on average PER DAY on life support, trying to keep you alive a stupid mistake or risk that could’ve been avoided.

In conclusion, a tree never hits an automobile except in self-defense.-woody Allan. In a split second, you could ruin your future, injure or kill others, and tear a hole in the heart of everyone who loves you. 

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