Know your limits: Your guide to safely navigating the festive season

The holiday season is finally here, bringing with it the customary flurry of festivities as the working year closes off for most. But between cocktail parties, year-end functions and festive feasts, it's all too easy to down one drink too many, and to turn what should be a welcomed celebration into an avoidable nightmare.

Given the high traffic volumes typical of the festive season and the high likelihood of having to deal with other inebriated motorists, your ability to stay alert and respond quickly is of the essence.

How much is too much?

While a zero-tolerance policy is believed to be in the works, drivers are currently required to adhere to the limit of 0.05g per ml, which is technically the equivalent of one drink. However, bear in mind that this depends on numerous factors. So, while you might think you're well within the law by treating yourself to a quick drink before heading home, it's important to remember that your body's response is variable, and that you could be putting yourself and others at risk by getting behind the wheel.

What are the consequences?

Over and above the obvious safety risks that drunken driving entails, that extra drink could also end up being very costly in the event of an accident, even if you aren't the cause thereof. Should you find yourself on the wrong end of a fender bender or a more serious incident, the likelihood of your claim being successful is relatively slim should you be found to be over the legal drinking limit. This would essentially constitute a breach of the law, which could in turn end up invalidating the terms of your cover.

What are the alternatives?

Now don’t fret, the festive joy is not all lost just yet. You don’t have to completely be the party-pooper while all your nearest and dearest get into the festive spirit. In fact, there are plenty of affordable (and in some cases free) services you can make use of to avoid drinking and driving. If you're in a major center, Uber and similar services are available at the click of a button at reasonable rates, but if you're out of town or in a particularly crowded holiday hotspot, you'll need to understand your options and do a little forward planning.

As a MiWay client, your policy could entitle you to another safe alternative to driving under the influence of alcohol, for you and your car. With WeDrive, you can have all the fun with your loved ones, without any of the drawbacks – and best of all, you are driven home safely in your own car*

It's important to bear in mind that these services have become very popular, so you should look to book ahead of time so as to avoid disappointment.

Should you not have this option available to you, make sure to look up local taxi providers ahead of time and arm yourself with the relevant contact numbers which could prove useful should you end up in a situation where you feel uncomfortable getting behind the wheel.

*Available in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein, Nelspruit, George, Port Elizabeth and East London. WeDrive (up to an annual limit) is FREE for qualifying clients.

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