The silly season usually manages to live up to its name, and generally involves parties, time spent with family and friends, holidays and … roadblocks, in an attempt to curb the accident rates that inevitably rise over December.
One of the main contributors to accidents is, of course, drunk driving, as people make their merry way home after partaking in the Christmas spirits.
If you’re stopped by a traffic officer and found to be over the limit, two things could happen, and neither of them is pleasant
First, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) is pushing ahead with a proposal that calls for all drunk drivers to spend seven days in jail before they are considered for bail, reports News24.
Yep, that’s a week in a terrifying South African jail. Not exactly what you want to be doing with your time off.
Speaking of time off, the second thing that could happen is extended leave from your job. And by extended leave, I mean permanent leave, i.e. you could get fired.
According to IOL, generally speaking, an employee’s private life is of no consequence to the employer. In other words, what you get up to outside of work hours is your business.
That said, the test for whether conduct may be regarded as work-related is the extent to which such conduct may affect the employment relationship, and not whether the conduct at issue is covered by the employment contract.
If your behaviour outside of the office can be proven to be detrimental to the company, that could be grounds for dismissal.
In summary, employers wanting to discipline their employees for misconduct conducted outside of the workplace, have to establish not only the commission of the offence (misconduct) on a balance of probabilities, but also the extent to which such conduct is said to detrimentally affect the employment relationship.
In many instances, an offence such as driving under the influence of alcohol would not necessarily impact negatively on the employment relationship.
In those instances, however, where an employee is employed as a driver, and depending on the nature of the circumstances in which an arrest may have been made, it may be easier for an employer to draw a causal connection between the nature of the misconduct (the arrest) and the employment relationship.
Drunk driving is illegal, dangerous, and displays poor judgement, and criminal activity combined with poor judgement aren’t qualities that any employer wants in an employee.
So, if your boss has been looking for a reason to give you the boot, an arrest for drunk driving might just be the way to do it.
While all of this is terrifying, there’s no need to give up on fun and a few drinks with your mates just yet.
The solution is simple. Either don’t drink and drive, or just don’t drive.
If you don’t have the app yet, then do you even live in 2018? Here’s a link if that’s the case – you can pretend you’ve always had it.
Bonus – if you register with Uber now, you’ll get R50 off your first ride.
Seriously though, Uber makes it possible for you to go out, have as much fun as you’d like, and get home in one piece. Using Uber also means that the roads are safer, you are safer, and you eliminate the risk of a week in jail and potential unemployment.
Don’t let a night of fun end in the worst week of your life.
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