Category Archives: Delport Van den Berg

Drinking and driving – These are your rights

Each year during the festive season, South Africans are confronted with more stringent road blocks and possible arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol. The current legal limit for Blood Alcohol Content is:

  • LESS THAN 0,05g/100ml of blood sampled if you are an ordinary driving licence holder; or
  • LESS THAN 0,02g/100ml of blood sampled if you are the holder of a Professional Driving Permit (PrDP), for example a taxi driver or a bus driver.

Whilst the legal limit in respect of Breath Alcohol Content is:

  • LESS THAN 0,24mg/1000ml of breath sampled if you are an ordinary driving licence holder; or
  • LESS THAN 0,10mg/1000ml of breath sampled if you are the holder of a Professional Driving Permit (PrDP), for example a taxi driver or a bus driver.

Although it is always better to refrain from drinking alcohol if you have to drive, it is important to know what your rights are when pulled over by a police officer for driving under the influence:

  1. You may request that the officer provide identification irrespective of whether or not they are in uniform. If the officer is unable to provide an appointment certificate on demand he or she is in violation of the Criminal Procedure Act and any actions taken by him or her will be unlawful;
  2. If the officer requests you to take a breath or blood alcohol test, you may not refuse. If you refuse, you are in contravention of the National Road Traffic Act and necessary force may be inflicted upon you by the officer to take the required samples;
  3. Samples for your blood alcohol content or breath alcohol content must be taken within 2 hours of the alleged transgression (being pulled over by the officer);
  4. You may only be legally arrested after it has been established by the officer that your blood or breath alcohol level exceeds the legal limit. In other words, you may not be arrested merely because your breath smells of alcohol;
  5. You have the right to remain silent and not to make self-incriminating statements. In other words, you do not have to disclose to the officer how many drinks you had;
  6. You have the right to know who the registered medical practitioner is that takes your samples. You may also request for access to your own medical practitioner if he or she is available, the costs of which will be for your personal account;
  7. If you have been arrested, you may use a telephone to contact a relative or an attorney;
  8. If you are on chronic medication, you have the right to take your medication whilst in police custody if a doctor so prescribes;
  9. You have the right to apply for bail once you have been charged and an Investigating Officer has been assigned to your case. If bail is refused for whatever reason, you have to appear in court within 48 hours of your arrest, or during the first court day after the expiry of the 48 hours if the period expires outside ordinary court hours or on a day which is not an ordinary court day. The latter applies when you have for example been arrested on a Friday night and you will then only appear in court during the upcoming Monday;
  10. You have the right to being treated fairly and with respect by all the officers involved and the station where you are being held must provide you with food and water;

It is always better to give your co-operation and to be friendly with the officers.

Remember that it is a criminal offence to bribe police officers. If you are requested to pay a bribe by an officer, immediately report the offence to the relevant authorities.

We wish you a safe and memorable festive season!

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein.  Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Welcome to the all brand new Delport van den Berg!

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New Offices

Delport Van den Berg are very pleased to inform our clients and friends that we recently moved to our splendid new offices in an ultra-modern office building just off the N1 in Pretoria. We are now located in Building 2 of Summit Place Office Park in Menlyn, Pretoria. The street address is 221 Garsfontein Road although, due to construction work in the area, the entrance at 220 Thys street must temporarily be used.

We want to share the excitement of our new home with you and look forward to meeting you here, whether it be for business or just for a look around, a chat, and a cup of coffee or tea should you happen to find yourself in our vicinity. Street map directions for those who are not familiar with the area can be found by clicking here.

Do pay us a visit!

New Website

We are also very pleased to announce the launch of our newly redesigned website.

We hope you will visit the new website at our same address, www.delportvandenberg.co.za. and acquaint yourself with the new site. And while you’re there, let us know what you think.

We hope that you will enjoy browsing our new site, finding more options and information each time, and that it will be yet another tool for strengthening our business relations.

We embrace the vision that an attorney is also a businessman and offer practical, authoritative and commercially astute advice to promote the growth of our clients’ businesses.

New Newsletter

Our new monthly electronic newsletter is sent to you automatically. You became a “subscriber” because your details were recorded on our electronic database following previous contact of some form or another with you. The newsletter will also be on the website under latest news for your convenience.

The purpose of issuing the newsletter is to keep our clients and friends informed with information that is meaningful and that we consider might be relevant to their interests. Thus, the newsletter is designed to contain

  • interesting legal articles and court cases that affect all of us
  • noteworthy and useful legal tips
  • information on the latest legislation relevant to business and the general public
  • news about our firm and its activities

We sincerely hope that you find reading our newsletter worth your while and that you wish to continue receiving it regularly. You are welcome to provide us with comments on the content or with any other feedback that you feel could help to improve and make the newsletter an even better reading experience.

Receiving the newsletter is, of course, optional and should you prefer that we no longer send it to you, you may simply click on the Opt Out link below to remove your name from the mailing list.