There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks with friends at the end of a long week, at a party, at a celebration, or any other social occasion. However, if one becomes one too many, and you make the decision to get behind the wheel afterwards, that’s when a fun night out can become something far more dangerous.
This post was published on 22 Feb, 2017

Know your limits

We all know about the dangers of drinking and driving, and most of us would never knowingly drive while intoxicated – but do you exactly how much alcohol constitutes driving under the influence? In South Africa, the legal blood alcohol content is 0.05%, but what does that really mean in practical terms? Let’s take a look:

Beverage BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)
25ml tot vodka/brandy/whisky/gin 0.02% BAC
25ml tequila 0.02% BAC
75ml wine 0.02% BAC
Cider, 2 units 0.04% BAC
Beer, 1.5 – 1.7 units 0.04% BAC
Cocktail, 2 – 4 units 0.04% to 0.08% BAC
Quart beer, 3.5 – 4 units 0.04% to 0.08% BAC
Spirit cooler, 1.2 – 1.9 units 0.02% to 0.03% BAC
Sorghum beer, 1.5 units 0.03% BAC


Taking into account the fact that one unit of alcohol has a blood alcohol content of approximately 0.02%, this means that more than 2 beers, two single shots of spirits, or 150 ml of wine will immediately put you over the legal limit. With this in mind, it’s easy to see how you could unwittingly drive while being legally drunk. This is how getting behind the wheel, even after only one small drink, could have far-reaching negative consequences.

Find your way home safely

As an iWYZE policyholder, you can do your part to help keep South Africa’s roads safe by following a few simple guidelines to responsible alcohol consumption:

  • Decide before you go out whether or not you will be drinking. This decision will inform your behaviour going forward.
  • If you decide not to drink, offer to be a designated driver and ensure your loved ones arrive home safely. The next time you go out, they could offer to return the favour.
  • If you do decide to drink, and to take your own car, monitor your alcohol intake closely. Make sure you have something to eat beforehand, and alternate each sip of alcohol with a sip of water to slow down your rate of consumption. Make sure to check the blood alcohol table above for a guide to how much alcohol you can consume while still staying within legal limits.
  • Not sure if you’re over the limit? A portable breathalyser from a company such as can give you an indication as to whether or not you are legally able to drive.
  • Should you decide to drink and not drive, there are a multitude of transport options for you, from trains and busses to taxis and ride share apps such as Uber.
  • If you are out with your car, and realise you are over the limit, there are a number of taxi services that offer a ‘drive your car home’ feature. Simply make the necessary arrangements and ensure you and your vehicle arrive home safely.


As you can see, there are a number of simple ways to ensure you both enjoy your time out with family and friends, and arrive home safe and sound afterwards. So the next time you plan an afternoon or an evening out, plan on making the wisest choices you can. Because the more we can all do in our individual capacity to avoid drinking and driving, the more we can keep both ourselves, and South Africa’s roads safer for all.

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