Drunk and Drive Punishment in UAE: Understanding the Zero-Tolerance Policy and Penalties

Drunk Driving Laws in the UAE

Hello, fellow drivers!  Who uses the road? Today, talk about something super important – drunk driving laws in the UAE. It’s important to know these rules to stay safe and out of trouble, whether you live in the country or are just visiting. The UAE is known for having strict regulations and laws. The country is very strict about the sentence for driving while drunk to keep people safe on the roads. These laws are stringent in the UAE. In this post, we’ll detail the fines you could face and why they are so strict.

Zero-Tolerance Policy

For starters, did you know that driving while drunk is illegal in the UAE? No amount of booze can be in your body while you’re driving. It would help if you did not drive after drinking; that much is clear. Always. There will be no tolerance for this behavior. This is part of the UAE’s larger plan to keep its roads safe and orderly. There is no such thing as a legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level in the UAE. This is different from some other countries.

The idea behind this tight policy is to make things clear. Having a “zero tolerance” policy makes it clear to everyone that it is illegal to drive after drinking any amount of alcohol. This strategy aims to keep the roads safe for everyone by preventing accidents that could happen because of drunk driving.

Legal Limit

You may be interested in the legal limit for blood alcohol level (BAC). In the UAE, however, the maximum is 0. You read that right: zero. If you drink and drive, even a small amount can get you into a lot of problems. As part of the UAE’s strict enforcement policy, this BAC limit of zero is in place.

A lot of people are used to hearing about BAC rules that let people drink a little alcohol, but the UAE is clear: if you’re driving, you shouldn’t have any alcohol in your blood. This method is significant in a country with a diverse population, where different national and societal views on alcohol use could make enforcement harder in other ways.

Penalties for Drunk Driving

Let’s talk about what happens when someone drives drunk. I promise you that you don’t want to deal with this. The UAE government has implemented a number of harsh punishments to stop people from driving while drunk. People who break the law will be held responsible in multiple ways because these punishments are harsh and have many parts.


You could spend up to 6 months in jail if you get caught. You’ll be away from your family and friends for six months because you were drunk and driving. The thought of going to jail is scary, and rightly so. It is a strong warning that reminds drivers of the bad things that will happen if they don’t change their behavior.

Being in jail or prison can significantly affect your personal and work life. It can cause people to lose their jobs and relationships, get tense, and have money problems. One of the harshest parts of the UAE’s drunk driving rules is the prison sentence, which takes a significant toll on a person’s emotions and mental health.


You will also be punished. The fines are very high; they are between 10,000 and 20,000 AED. Think about what you could do with that money that would be better. These fines are significant and are meant to hurt the violator’s wallet enough to make them not want to break the law again.

Heavy fines like these can be a big deterrent, especially when combined with other punishments. The government is sending a clear message: if you break the law, you will pay. The fines are often used to pay for campaigns and programs that promote road safety, making people even more determined to keep the roads safe.

Vehicle Impoundment

Also, your car could be towed away for up to three months. You won’t have your car for three long months, and it will be really hard to get around. Losing access to your car is meant to remind drivers of the benefits of being a good driver.

You will have to find other ways to get around while your car is being impounded, which can be expensive and take time. This punishment affects the person who gets it and their family, friends, and coworkers who may need the car.

Black Points

The UAE has a “black points” system for people who break driving laws. If you get caught driving drunk, you will get black points on your record. If you get too many, you might be in even more trouble. The black points system is meant to keep track of driver violations and ensure that people who break the law more than once are punished more harshly.

If you get black points on your record, your insurance rates may go up, and in some cases, drivers may have to take mandatory driving classes or face more penalties. This method is a good way to monitor and manage drivers over time, making sure that people who break the law often are caught and punished properly.

License Suspension

Your license might not be valid anymore. If you can’t drive, you’ll have to find other ways to get to work, which can be inconvenient. If you have a suspended license, it might be hard for you to get to work, run chores, or take your kids to school.

The length of the suspension depends on the severity of the crime and the driver’s past. Some drivers may have to go through a program to improve or take a test before they can get their license back. This punishment shows the importance of following traffic rules and what happens when you don’t.


Things can get even worse if you’re not from the UAE. You could be sent home after you finish your term, or you might be sent back to your home country and not be able to return to the UAE. One of the harshest punishments is deportation, which shows how serious the UAE is about keeping the public safe.

This can have a huge impact on expats’ lives. It can lead to losing a job, being away from family, and giving up a way of life that may have taken years to build. The threat of being deported is a strong deterrent, especially for the large group of expatriates living in the UAE.

Enforcement and Consequences

Strict Enforcement

The UAE doesn’t just have these rules on paper; they follow them closely. There are many police stops, random breath tests, and close surveillance. That means you’ll probably get caught if you drink and drive. In the UAE, police are well-equipped and trained to deal with drunk driving cases.

Checkpoints are set in a way that makes sense, especially on weekends and holidays when drunk driving is more likely to occur. Breathalyzers and surveillance cameras are examples of advanced technology used to find and prosecute people who break the law.

Consequences for Muslims and Non-Muslims

You have to follow these rules whether you are Muslim or not. The UAE treats all residents and visitors equally when enforcing drunk driving rules. This equal application of the law ensures everyone is treated fairly and shows how vital road safety is.

Everyone must follow the same rules, no matter what religion or culture they are from. This way of doing things helps build a society where everyone’s road safety is a top priority.

Impact on Road Safety

Why do the rules seem so strict? It’s about keeping everyone safe. By following these rules, the UAE hopes to make its roads safer for everyone. Drunk driving is a significant cause of accidents. Statistics have shown that countries with strict regulations against drunk driving tend to have fewer accidents and deaths on the roads.

The UAE’s comprehensive method for fighting drunk driving shows how much it cares about road safety. Police are very strict on the roads to ensure they are safe for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Education and awareness programs are also used.


The UAE is very strict about not letting people drive while drunk so that they can protect their people. People who drive while drunk face strong punishments because the results can be terrible. Because of this, if you want to drink, don’t drive. Call a taxi, take the bus, or select someone to drive you home. Keep yourself and others safe on the roads.

Remember that knowing and following these rules isn’t just about staying out of trouble; it’s also about being a good driver who looks out for your and other people’s safety. The strict rules and harsh punishments serve as a lesson about how important it is to drive safely.

In addition to the legal implications, consider the personal ones that could come from drunk driving. Driving while intoxicated can cause accidents that hurt or kill people, including the drunken driver, as well as harmless passengers and other people on the road. Families and friends of people who are injured in these kinds of accidents can be deeply affected and feel the effects for a long time.

In addition, driving while drunk can have significant financial effects. In addition to fines, jail time, and having your car towed, you may also have to pay legal fees, higher insurance rates, and hospital bills if you get into an accident. The stress of paying for everything can be too much and can lower your quality of life for years to come.

It’s also important to talk about the social shame that comes with driving drunk. If you are found guilty of drunk driving, it can hurt your relationships and image. Different people, like employers, coworkers, and friends, may have different opinions about the offender, making relationships tense or even stop. The effects on society can be just as harmful as the effects on the law, if not worse.

What can you do to keep these bad things from happening? Here are some useful tips:

  1. Plan: If you know you’re going to be drinking, figure out how you’re going to get home before you go. Call a cab or a ride-sharing service, or ask one of your friends to be the sober driver.
  2. Stay Sober: It’s best not to drink at all if you’re going to be driving. Drink only non-alcoholic drinks and keep your attention on driving safely.
  3. Use Public Transportation: The UAE has a good public transportation system. Buses, trains, and trams are safe and easy ways to get around instead of driving.
  4. Stay Over: If you’re at a party or a friend’s house, stay the night instead of going home. Being safe is better than being sorry.
  5. Teach Others: Tell everyone how dangerous it is to drive drunk. Your family and friends should be bright and follow the rules, so tell them that.

By taking these steps, you can help make the roads in the UAE safer and stop terrible things from happening when people drive drunk. Remember that the rules are there to keep people safe and protect lives. Everyone needs to follow these rules to make the roads better for everyone.

Always be safe, know what you’re doing, and make intelligent driving decisions. Have a safe trip!

Q1. What are the penalties for drunk driving in the UAE?

A1. The penalties for drunk driving in the UAE include:

  • Fines ranging from AED 10,000 to AED 30,000
  • Imprisonment of up to 6 months, or up to 10 years if the drunk driving causes injury or death
  • Vehicle impoundment for up to 60 days
  • License suspension for three months to 2 years
  • Accrual of 23 black points on the driver’s record

Q2. Will I be punished if I have any alcohol in my bloodstream, even if I’m not heavily intoxicated?

A2. Yes, you can face penalties for drunk driving even if you have any trace of alcohol in your bloodstream. The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy, with a legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.0%. Driving with any amount of alcohol is illegal and punishable by law.

Q3. Are the penalties different for Muslims and non-Muslims?

A3. While alcohol consumption is strictly forbidden for Muslims under Islamic Sharia law, the penalties for drunk driving apply to both Muslims and non-Muslims in the UAE. However, Muslim offenders may face more severe punishments, including possible deportation.

Q4. What happens if I’m involved in an accident while driving under the influence?

A4. If you cause injury or death while driving drunk, you may face much harsher penalties, including imprisonment of up to 10 years and higher fines. You could also face serious criminal charges such as manslaughter.

Q5. As an expatriate or tourist, can I be deported for drunk driving?

A5. Yes, expatriates and tourists can face deportation in addition to other penalties if caught driving under the influence in the UAE. The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy and strictly enforces drunk driving laws, even for visitors.

Ittihad Legal Consultants

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