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Drinking Liquor or Alcohol Arrest and Driving Laws and Punishment in Dubai or UAE

Drinking Liquor or Alcohol Arrest and Driving Laws and Punishment in Dubai or UAE 2

There are strict rules when it comes to drinking and driving under the influence in Dubai or UAE. However, that does not mean you cannot drink liquor or alcohol in Dubai. The only thing there is are regulations to the ways of drinking, which apply to both residents and tourists in Dubai or UAE.

Penalties for alcohol or drug-related violations

Driving under the influence or intoxication in Dubai is a crime. This is because the drugs affect your judgment, coordination, and abilities to drive. How drunk or high you are depending on the following conditions:

  • How much have you drunk
  • The amount of food consumed before drinking
  • How long you have been drinking
  • Body weight
  • Gender

The fastest way to getting sober is by letting your body absorb the alcohol so as to decrease your level of intoxication. The body absorbs alcohol at an average rate of one drink per hour.


Alcohol is served in various licensed restaurants and bars linked to hotels as well as designated stores. Public drinking is also prohibited and for one needs to have a drinking license to purchase alcohol. However, in the specific restaurants and bars, you can drink without an alcohol license. But it is wise to have one.

An alcohol license is important because you can get arrested outside the approved places for drinking if reported or found drunk and behaving disorderly in a public area. Most culprits are caught when they are involved in a car accident or ask for assistance from authorities when under the influence. It is important to remember that even with an alcohol license, you are liable to punishment if caught drunk in public places. The license is your ticket to buying alcohol and not a free get out of jail card for breaking the laws.

Drink and drive law and punishment in UAE

This article revolves around UAE Traffic Laws related to driving under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or any other drug and the penalties.

According to the Federal Law No. 21 of 1995 “Concerning Traffic,” as revised is the legal law, which governs traffic and regulates vehicle. This law also specifies the penalties for traffic crimes and procedures related to it.

The driver of any vehicle should not drive while under the influence of alcohol or narcotic drugs or other related substances. This is independent of whether the consumption of alcohol or narcotic substance is legal or illegal.

Do not drink and drive. This restriction is based on the values of traffic safety while driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotic substance. It is believed that the drive is incapable of controlling the car properly and there is a high risk of a car accident.

There is zero tolerance for drunk driving with regards to UAE legal practice. According to Article No. 10.6 of the Traffic Law: “the driver of any vehicle shall refrain from driving while under the influence of wine, alcohol, narcotic substance or anything of the like.”

Punishment for drinking and driving in Dubai or UAE

The punishment for any driver caught drinking and driving include; imprisonment and a minimum fine of AED 20,000. This is stipulated in Article No. 49.6 of the Traffic Law. The penalty is subject to the fact that the driving was driving while drunk and attempt to drive while under the influence of alcohol or narcotic substance and the like. The driver may also be arrested under the charges of Article No. 59.3 of the Law on driving under the influence of alcohol or any other narcotic or the like.

Additional penalties involve enactment of derivative measures by the court. They include;

Suspension of driving license for a period not less than three months and not exceeding two years. The driver is also restrained from getting a new license in the future after the suspended license is long overdue after the expiry date.

Punishment for someone caught drunk or drinking without an alcohol permit include;

Imprisonment for a period of six months or a fine of AED 5,000 or both. This is according to the UAE Alcohol Law of the year 1972.

If the lawbreaker has been convicted by the court and judgment passed, a copy of the judgment is required. This is meant to verify punishment, but at no cost can the term exceed the outlined penalty as per the law.

Regardless of campaigns conducted and warnings issued, there is still an alarming number of people who still drink and drive. Why? Well, most of the people think they can manage their drinking while behind the wheels. Others believe they are good judges as to whether or not they are can drive or not. As for others, they may vow not to drive after drinking, but under the influence of alcohol or narcotic substances, they make the wrong decisions. For the other lot of people, they are carefree of what happens and the risks they will face if they are driving intoxicated. They are overconfident with their driving skills and think they are untouchable.

The consequences of drunk driving are not good and attribute to 14% of the deadly road accidents that occur in a year. The number of drunk drivers has been gradually rising over the decade, and with the holiday season around the corner, the number may skyrocket. If you are reading this, you are one of the many concerned people who are worried about their friends and relatives who drink and drive.

What you can do:

During the holiday season, you can socialize together with friends and relatives and after that hire a cab. Alternatively, you can have your own designated driver or rather drink in a residential home where you can rest after that as the alcohol levels drop down. When morning comes, everyone can go home safe and sound. If not, try ‘dry’ night out where everyone limits their selves on how much they will be drinking. You can also have a change and have soft drinks instead. For holiday plans, you can book a hotel or restaurant where alcohol is not sold and in case of events, hold parties that do not involve drinking.

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