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South African Journal of Science

On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353


SUKHAI, Anesh; VAN NIEKERK, Ashley  and  SEEDAT, Mohamed. Zero-tolerance drink-driving and road safety in South Africa: What are the options?. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2022, vol.118, n.9-10, pp.1-6. ISSN 1996-7489.

SIGNIFICANCE: Alcohol is a major contributing factor to the burden of road traffic crashes and injuries in South Africa. There has been an increase in political interest and engagement on the issue of drink-driving in recent months following government restrictions on the sale and public consumption of alcohol during the COVID-19 lockdowns along with proposed zero-tolerance drink-driving legislation. In this paper, we critically examine global research and experiences with the adoption of zero-tolerance approaches to drink-driving along with key South African contextual considerations to provide evidence-based and contextually relevant recommendations for advancing zero-tolerance drink-driving legislation in the country. There is significant evidence to support the adoption of zero-tolerance legislation but at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) threshold limit for the general driving population set at 0.02 g/100 mL (rather than the zero-BAC limit proposed through the Road Traffic Amendment Bill) to allow for variance in testing. Recommendations centre on the proposed legislation incorporating a gradualist approach and its location within a broader zero-tolerance approach that includes other complementary interventions to enable implementation. : •The recommended blood alcohol level of 0.02 g/100 mL is lower than the best practice limit recommended by the World Health Organization of 0.05 g/100 mL, following consideration of the road safety and general alcohol consumption challenges in South Africa and evidence of success from other similar country contexts. •Broad principles and recommendations are presented to support the sustainable adoption of zero-tolerance drink-driving legislation in the country

Keywords : zero-tolerance; drink-driving; road safety; alcohol; South Africa.

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