The South African Road Accident Fund is in place to protect you, not excuse you. There is no excuse for driving drunk. If you drink and drive, you endanger not only yourself but other road users too. A car accident can have severe and unexpected consequences under normal circumstances, and a drunk driver can increase those dangers.
What constitutes drunk driving?
In South Africa, the legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 0.24mg per 1000 ml, or a blood alcohol limit of 0.05 g per 100 ml. You cannot legally drive if you are over this limit. Although it is inadvisable, it is possible to drink and still be able to drive. The general rule of thumb is to drink only one unit of alcohol every hour to avoid becoming drunk. One unit per hour gives your body enough time to process the alcohol. However, even in small amounts alcohol will reduce your decision-making abilities and reflexes, so it is best not to drink at all if you wish to drive safely. In layman’s terms, one unit of alcohol is equivalent to approximately two thirds of a beer or spirit cooler, or one glass of wine. Only one 25ml shot of hard liquor like brandy or whiskey counts as one unit.
Can I still claim against the South African Road Accident Fund if I was driving drunk?
While it is possible for you to claim against the RAF in these circumstances, it is very likely that your case will either be dismissed or you will receive small compensation. If you were driving under the influence but believe that the accident was caused by another driver, both you and the other driver may be held accountable for the accident. The fact that you were over the legal alcohol limit will count as contributory negligence, no matter who caused the accident. Contact Paul du Plessis Attorneys for help with claims against the South African Road Accident Fund. We have many years of experience with cases of drunk driving and road accidents.