Heavy traffic on the first day of school opening UAE
Motorists must know and abide by the rules before they take to the road, says Public Prosecution. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: The sentencing of a British motorist to one month in jail for driving his car under the influence of alcohol has brought into sharp focus the need to be aware of the UAE’s stringent law against drink-driving and abide by it.

What the UAE law says

Driving under the influence is a crime in the UAE. The penalty for drink-driving and driving under the influence includes imprisonment and a possible fine of at least Dh20,000.

“According to Article 49, Item 6 of the Federal Law No 21 of 1995 concerning traffic, and the amendments thereof, whoever drives a vehicle, or attempts to drive a vehicle, on the road while being under the influence of alcoholic drinks, narcotics or the like, shall be sentenced to imprisonment, and/or fined a monetary penalty of not less than Dh20,000,” says Public Prosecution.

Several offences

According to Senior Prosecutor Salah Bu Farousha Al Falasi, Head of Traffic Prosecution in Dubai, the 42-year-old driver was convicted for several traffic offences, including jumping the red light and driving in the opposite direction of the road.

The court has suspended his driving licence for six months with immediate effect.

“A police patrol in Bur Dubai area noticed the defendant driving in the opposite direction of traffic, crossing the red signal and damageing properties. He was stopped by officers. A breathlyser test revealed that he was under the influence of alcohol (179 per cent),” said Al Falasi.

During interrogation, the driver admitted to driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Dubai Traffic Prosecution charged the driver with driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol, jumping the red light, driving in the opposite direction and damaging property.

“The Public Prosecution demanded to impose stiff penalties on the accused,” added Al Falasi.

Dubai Traffic Court sentenced the driver to one month in jail and suspended his driving licence for six months.

Al Falasi warned motorists against drink-driving and praised the swift action by Dubai Police in apprehending traffic violators.

He urged drivers to exercise extreme caution when driving on the road and abiding by all traffic rules in order to protect the safety of all drivers and prevent damage to public and private property.

“Dubai authorities maintain zero tolerance against driving under the influence of alcohol,” he added.