National government has released draft legislation which could soon prohibit motorists from consuming any liquor before getting behind the wheel.
In a series of tweets and statements released by transport minister Fikile Mbalula, he said the aim of the new legislation is to decrease the legal breath-alcohol limit from less than 0.05 grams per 100 millilitres via blood sample or 0.24 mF per 1 000 mF via breathalyzer to 0.00 grams for any motorist.
This means that should you consume any liquor, you could be arrested if stopped in a roadblock.
These amendments will be made to the National Road Traffic Act. The proposal was accepted by parliament earlier this year.
Thus far, more than 6 500 people have had their say on the bill through the non-profit site dearsouthafrica.co.za, with public participation closing on Friday 20 November.
At this stage, there are mixed emotions on the proposed changes.
Some of the participants have referred to the proposal as “laughable” and “unnecessary”. City Vision’s sister paper, People’s Post, polled readers on social media and in the streets to get their take on the proposal.
Wesley Fourie says he will not be commenting on the bill.
“They have already made up their mind. I am not going to waste time commenting because I don’t feel it will change their minds,” he says. “What is more concerning is that they believe a bill will stop people from drinking and driving.”
Many others agree with Fourie, adding that not enough is done to promote public participation.
But for others on the opposing side, the proposed legislation will add an additional line of defence.“Drunk drivers get off so easily most times. They sit for a few days, then they are out on bail,” says Pauline Samuels. “But the lives they take can never be replaced.”
Mbalula has been warning residents that this could be adopted as early as December this year.