Intoxication, Drunk Driving and Mining Safety
Drunk Driving is one of the biggest threats to Road Safety in South Africa. Research indicates that 50% of people who die on the roads have a blood alcohol concentration above 0.05 gram per 100 millilitres. Intoxication does however not only impair the ability of the worker on the mine to operate vehicles and machinery but could also contribute to other injuries.
At our mines an intoxicated worker will place many fellow workers at life threatening peril and mines are well aware that fatal accidents will lead to closure and devastating consequences for financial sustainability of the mine.
It is with this in mind that mines are placing a heavy focus on the test for sobriety and where breathalyzers can play a significant role in reducing accidents.
With reference to intoxication and traffic related accidents and injury we would like to briefly summarize the law on drunk driving:
The National Road Traffic Act (NRTA), Act 93 of 1996 as amended.
Section 65: Driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug having narcotic effect, or with excessive amount of alcohol in blood or breath
No person shall on a public road -
- (a) drive a vehicle; or
- (b) occupy the driver's seat of a motor vehicle the engine of which is running, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a drug having a narcotic effect.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limits:
Concentration of alcohol in blood: 0,05 gram per 100 millilitres (all drivers), professional drivers: 0,02 gram per 100 millilitres.
Breath alcohol content: 0,24 milligrams per 1000 millilitres (all drivers), professional drivers: 0,10 milligrams per 1000 millilitres.
Any person detained for an alleged contravention of any provision of this section shall not -
(b) during his or her detention smoke until the specimen has been taken, as the case may be.
No person shall refuse that a specimen of blood, or a specimen of breath, be taken of him or her.
Penalties Imposed For Drunk Driving
Section 35: On conviction of certain offences licence and permit shall be suspended for a minimum period and learner's or driving licence may not be obtained
(1) Subject to subsection (3), every driving licence or every licence and permit of any person convicted of an offence referred to in -
(a) section 61 (1) in the case of death of or serious injury to a person'
(b) section 63 (1) driving recklessly,
(c) section 65 (1), (2) or (5)'
where such person is the holder of a driving licence or a licence and permit, shall be suspended in the case of -
(i) a first offence - for a period of at least six months
(ii) a second offence, for a period of at least five years; or
(ii) a third or subsequent offence, for a period of at least ten years.
For information on Breath Alcohol Testers available from Breathalyzers.co.za, visit the following links: