What you should know about UAE drunk driving penalties

The United Arab Emirates has recently made a number of significant revisions to several outdated regulations, particularly those governing alcohol use in the UAE. The most recent revisions remove the severe licensing requirements that once applied to alcohol drinking. That does not, however, imply that people should disregard all prudence and behave anyway they like. It is vital to realize that the UAE has numerous severe and stringent rules in place, especially when it comes to public safety, even with the current reforms that are taking effect.

If a person is twenty-one years of age or older, alcohol use is now permitted according to recent regulations. Any further drinking needs to take place either in a permitted public space or in a private setting. Alcohol sales to minors are prohibited, and driving while intoxicated is severely penalised in the UAE.

Drinking and driving in Dubai

According to Federal Law number 21 of 1995 covering “traffic” and its revisions, it is illegal to drive in the United Arab Emirates when under the influence of alcohol or any other anaesthetic or narcotic substance. In order to safeguard other road users and lower traffic fatalities, the UAE has exceptionally rigorous traffic laws. As the UAE strives to reach its goal of lowering traffic fatalities from every 6 per 100,000 people to every 3 per 100,000 people by 2021, the traffic rules are routinely changed to incorporate new modifications.

According to Federal Law No. 12 of 2007, which amended Article 49 (6) of the Traffic Law, the following actions are punishable by imprisonment and/or a minimum fine of Twenty-Five Thousand Dirhams: “Driving or attempting to drive a vehicle on the road while under the influence of alcoholic drinks or anaesthetic substances and the like.”

According to Article 59 of the traffic legislation, a police officer has the authority to detain any driver of a vehicle if they discover them to be complicit in any of the following offences:

1. Inflicting damage or death onto another person as a result of operating a vehicle.

2. Operating a vehicle in a careless or hazardous manner.

3. Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or anything similar, rendering him incapable of controlling it.

4. Giving a fake name or address or refusing to provide one at the time of one of the offences listed in this article.

5. Make an attempt to flee if a collision causes injury to anybody or if a police officer command you to halt.

The court may also impose further sanctions, such as prohibiting the driver from applying for a licence renewal and suspending the driver’s licence for a certain amount of time, which may last anywhere from three months to two years. The extra fines may even be greater if the offender did not have a valid driver’s licence at the time of the offence.

It is crucial to recognise the crucial difference that, despite changes in the law that partially legalise alcohol consumption in the UAE, it is still strictly forbidden for anyone operating a vehicle to do so while under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or the like. This is true whether doing so is permitted or not. Drivers who are pulled over while intoxicated may be detained and have their licences seized. Thus, it is advisable to clarify that there is zero tolerance for drunk driving in the UAE, where it is expressly forbidden by law to even attempt to operate a vehicle when inebriated or intoxicated. The severe procedures implemented by the UAE authorities demonstrate their dedication to and importance of the preservation of life and public safety. Given that there is zero tolerance for alcohol or illegal drugs in the UAE, these regulations should be followed to the letter and in their entirety.

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