Drink driving is third leading cause of accidents on Dubai’s roads in 2015

Drink-driving is now the third leading cause of accidents in Dubai with seven people killed and more than 100 injured in 431 alcohol-related incidents in first nine months of 2015.

DUBAI// Despite running the risk of being jailed for up to three years, motorists are still putting their own lives and the lives of others at risk by drink-driving.

Driving under the influence of alcohol was the third leading cause of accidents on Dubai’s roads in the first nine months of the year, according to police statistics. Seven people were killed and more than 100 injured in 431 alcohol-related accidents, most of which took place in the evening.

The UAE has a zero tolerance policy towards drink-driving, but many are still choosing to get behind the wheel after leaving a bar. A driver caught with alcohol in his or her blood faces a fine of up to Dh30,000 and/or up to three years in jail.

A local bar and restaurant manager, who wished to remain anonymous, said he stopped serving customers if they seemed drunk.

However, he added they still stamped valet tickets regardless of whether an individual had drunk alcohol, although they warned against driving.

“Even if we refuse to stamp at the bar, they would still go to the concierge or the hotel reception to get it done, but we do try to warn them against driving and drinking,” he said.

Swedish expatriate Lisa Anderson, 28, said the statistics did not surprise her.

“I frequently see people leaving bars and getting behind the wheel, and while UAE’s zero tolerance policy is a good thing, I don’t think that it’s something that can be completely controlled,” she said.

Ms Anderson said that the there was enough public transport and taxis available to stop people from drink-driving.

Briton Sarah Hay, 27, a Dubai resident for only a little over a month, said the statistics were shocking. “Coming from a European country, where drinking is common, it has been drilled into me that drinking and driving is a ‘no no’,” she said. “In terms of socialising and going out, I would say there’s much more availability of taxis, so I don’t see why anyone would find the need to drink and drive.”

Sudden swerving caused 461 road accidents in Dubai between January and September leading to 24 deaths, while tailgating was the cause of 435 accidents and 25 fatalities. One hundred and twenty two people were killed and 1,587 injured in 2,258 incidents.

dmoukhallati@thenational.ae

Published: November 10, 2015 04:00 AM

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