Beware of alcohol abuse this festive season

The abuse of drugs and alcohol over the annual festive season can have a terribly destructive effect on families, communities, on our roads and in the workplace.  “This is why it’s essential to support any initiative that aims to curb abuse and save lives,” said alcohol abuse testing expert Hank Lombard.

Alcohol abuse is a leading cause of road deaths worldwide, hence the SA Department of Transport’s proposed amendment to the National Road Traffic Amendment Act, 1996.  The amendment would lower the maximum permissible Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) for drivers from the current 0.05g per 100ml to 0.02g per 100ml of blood. 

Breathalysers need to be accurate to detect true levels of alcohol abuse

This could equate to less than a can of beer, one shot of whisky or 75ml of wine, depending on the person’s physiology.  “We supply alcohol testing instruments that are extremely accurate, picking up any level of alcohol in the user’s system from zero percent upwards,” said Lombard.

The Automobile Association (AA) of SA supports the new drinking and driving limits, saying that their research shows that drivers are already significantly impaired at a BAC of 0.05.  They believe that a limit of 0.02g allows some leeway for medications that contain alcohol.

Alcohol abuse testing protocols paramount during festive season

“The amendment is unlikely to have become law before the annual festive season break when the number of road accidents sky rockets along with the number of vehicles on our roads. Our advice is for transport companies that employ long haul drivers is to ensure that they have a recognised alcohol abuse testing protocol in place and be more vigilant about testing over this period,” said Lombard.

Precision Safety Appliances, is the official supplier of world-renown Lifeloc Technologies’ breath alcohol and drug testing systems.  The results of these highly accurate tests are recognised by the South African CCMA.