Saturday, June 4, 2011

Drunk Drivers in Saudi Arabia?

Did I really hear about drunk driving? In Saudi Arabia? Yes, I did. I did really hear about drunk driving.


In my 3 years of living in the Kingdom, I have met a handful of people who have claimed to drink alcohol during social gatherings. They all admitted to drinking "en cachette" since alcohol consumption is strictly forbidden here. It therefore comes as a surprise or maybe it is some form of mockery that some individuals would drink, get drunk, and sit behind the steering. 


For a country that has been described as having the highest accident death toll in the world, and one that bans the consumption of alcohol, it is pretty surprising that some drivers forget all of this and still sit behind the wheel despite being drunk. It is either due to stupidity on the part of the individual, or stupidity induced by the liquor itself.


Now, it is not uncommon to hear that someone has been caught drinking or distributing alcohol. I wrote about this in a recent post. A reported 243 driving licences have been seized this year in Jeddah alone. The reason; drunk driving. Read more... One driver was detained in Riyadh for driving drunk after a misdiagnosis of a leg fracture at a hospital; a detention which cost him a lot as he was suspected of drunk driving and was detained when he needed medical attention for his fracture. Read more...


Fact or fiction? People just can't stop drinking whatever be the punishment reserved for them.

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