Drunk drivers will get jail time

Proposed law could see drunk drivers thrown in jail

Soon you could face up to 15 years in jail for drunk driving.

Drunk Driving - Terence

According to the South African Department of Transport, it is in advanced discussions with the Justice Department to institute a mandatory two-year jail sentence with no bail if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol.

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi said that the introduction of a minimum sentence for negligent and reckless driving was part of the department’s long-term strategy to curb road casualties. This comes after the increased death toll on the roads over the Easter Holidays.

The idea is to reclassify drunken driving from a Schedule 3, which is less severe, to a more severe Schedule 5 offence.

Those convicted under a Schedule 5 offence face a recommended minimum sentence of 15 years in jail. Schedule 5 offences include murder, attempted murder, treason, rape, corruption, extortion, and fraud.

ALSO READ: Concern over spike in road deaths over Easter

In a statement released by Maswanganyi, the preliminary Easter long weekend road crash statistics were detailed. It does not make for pretty reading.

"Last year's preliminary figures, released shortly after the Easter period of 2016, indicated 156 deaths on our roads over the period. However, when the 30-day waiting period was over (which is customary when calculating final numbers) the fatalities rose to by 57 percent to 245. If the same applies this year, the final figure may be as high as 370 fatalities."

What do you think of this proposed change in the laws? Good or bad? Let us know in the comments section below.

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