'Don't do it!' How being arrested for a driving offence can change your life

28 January 2020 - 11:25 By Motoring Reporter
Speeding on public roads might be a thrill, but the consequences of being caught are dire.
Speeding on public roads might be a thrill, but the consequences of being caught are dire.
Image: smspsy / 123rf

The Audi driver who recorded himself driving at 308km/h was arrested at the weekend while attending a funeral. While he was reaching those speeds, his adrenaline was likely high and, giving him the benefit of the doubt, he was probably not thinking of the consequences of his actions.

Eugene Herbert, MD of MasterDrive, which specialises in advanced driver training, said while most people know they will be in trouble, do they know what will happen? “This is assuming that you do not first kill or injure yourself in a crash as a result of drunken or reckless driving. If you survive, once you get out of hospital, you will still likely face charges.

“Then if you are not injured, but caught committing a serious offence behind the wheel, whether that be speeding or driving while drunk, you can be sure that at some point you will spend a few hours or even a night in jail. If you are detained for drunk driving you will have blood drawn on the way to your cell. Some may now be thinking of the shock advert from a few years ago of the SAPS van and the occupants who wait in there for you,” said Herbert.

“Once you pay your bail, you will be given a date that you need to appear in court. If you do not present yourself on this day, you will forfeit your bail and your warrant of arrest will be issued. If you do present yourself at the court, the consequences you face will be better answered by a legal professional, as it is affected by various factors, from the number of offences to people injured in the incident.”

“If, however, you are a repeat offender or can’t afford the pricey fines prescribed by the court, you can be fairly certain that a jail sentence awaits you. If you try to buy your way out of the situation, and the police officer does not accept bribes, your situation becomes even worse (MasterDrive does not condone or endorse bribery in any form). Either way, the stress, expense and potential consequences of being arrested for drunken and reckless driving are simply not worth it.”

The ultimate punishment comes if anyone is injured or killed in a crash. “There is nothing the courts can do to you that can be worse than living with someone’s blood on your hands. With so many options to get home safely or to experience the thrill of racing safely, it makes this kind of driving so needless. The answer is to just not do it,” urged Herbert.