Most civilised nations have pretty strict rules against drinking or taking drugs while driving, which is just as well — driving under the influence causes countless accidents that usually result in injury and even death. However not all nations are as up to date with their civilised motoring laws. There are many places on this bizarre ball we call Earth that have yet to implement laws against drink driving. Here, we present a list of those place so that you may avoid driving in them.
The Bhutanese authorities have wised up recently. As of May 2012, cops in the region deemed it illegal for people to drink and drive. But even now, the drink drive rules are pretty slack. In Bhutan, you can booze it up as long as you don’t exceed 80mg of alcohol in a single breath. Here in the UK, the limit is a mere 35mg per blow. In other words, as of last year, you can have more than twice as much alcohol in Bhutan as you can in the UK before you’re over the limit. They’re pretty lenient if your’e caught straying beyond that limit, too. If you go beyond 80mg, you’ll be fined 1,750 Bhutanese Ngultrum (£21) and given points on your license. The number of points you’re given depends on the severity of the case.
Burkina Faso is a smallish country to the north of Ghana, Africa, with a population of about 16 million. Every single one of its inhabitants over the legal drinking age can get as smashed as they want then hop into a car and drive about as they please. While drinking and driving is perfectly legal there, you’d have to be pretty mashed to actually want to drive there, sober or sloshed. The country has 12,506km of highway, of which a mere 2,001km are paved.
You’ll find Comoros, officially known as the Union of the Comoros, just west of the middle of nowhere. It’s actually an island a little to the right of Mozambique and to the left of Madagascar (which is a real place, apparently). If you love booze, you’ll fit right in because not only do they have no minimum legal drinking age (yes, even newborn babies can get white boy wasted) they also don’t have any drink drive limit. There aren’t that many cars there, to be fair — there’s no public transport in Comoros so everyone gets around on foot or by hitch hiking.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Not many people know DR Congo is enormous. It’s the second largest country in Africa and the 11th largest in the world. Few are also aware that they’ve got plenty more to drink in the region than just Um Bongo, and the country has no drink driving laws to speak of. The drink of choice for many in the region is a form of moonshine called Lotoko (known by the slang term pétrole). It’s officially banned because of its high alcohol content (50 per cent) but nobody’s actually thought to make it illegal to drink other alcohols before jumping behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Vietnam is experiencing rapid motorisation; cars are springing up all over the place, but the cops don’t give a damn if you get tanked up and drive one. Back in 1990, Vietnam had a mere 500,000 vehicles. As of 2009, they had 30 million, all of which might be piloted by a complete pisshead at any given moment.
Little is known of the drink driving laws in Angola. What we do know is that the Angolan authorities aren’t going out of their way to dissuade residents from pootling about while pissed. Drunkards are probably the least of your worries, though. The US government has issued advice to tourists that they should avoid travelling by road outside of cities after nightfall. Presumably that’s when the naughty kids get their drink, smoke, shoot and rob on. Driving in the day isn’t advisable, either, particularly during the rainy season, which causes large potholes and erosion. Not that driving in the dry is any better — landmines are still a problem in the region.
Ethiopians don’t give a rat’s backside about road safety. According to the World Health Organization, the country has the highest rate of traffic fatalities per vehicle in the world. It is said that wearing a seatbelt is actually frowned upon by general Ethiopian society, and talking on your mobile phone while driving is seen as a sign you’re quite literally ballin’ out of control. There are road rules in the region, but none that apply to drinking and driving. If you turn without indicating while slaughtered, a cop is more likely to give you a lecture on proper indicator use than anything else.
The US government advises visitors to Gabon to “drive with your windows up and the doors locked,” which says it all. It’s not totally lawless, however – Gabon police are known to set up checkpoints within cities and on roads to the interior, where they’ll give you the once over to make sure you’re not breaking any laws. Make sure you’re not talking or texting on a mobile phone, because that’s prohibited. It’s fine if you’re driving drunk though – that’s completely legal in the region.
Neither drink driving, nor driving under the influence of drugs is illegal in Indonesia, which is odd considering it’s illegal to not wear a seat belt or wear a helmet on a motorcycle. The country’s traffic laws recommend sentences of between six and 10 years for negligent motorists who cause deaths by dangerous driving, but its driving laws are generally inconsistently enforced. Stay off the roads, if possible.
You may be taking your life into your own hands if you drive in Togo. Many drivers in the region don’t obey traffic laws, traffic signals don’t work properly and drivers commonly run red lights and stop signs or drive in the wrong direction on one-way streets. It’s probably no surprise then, that driving while tanked up on moonshine is no big deal there. Carjackings are common in Togo, as are staged accidents, where motorcyclists cut you up and pretend you caused a crash. If you are involved in an accident, the US department of state actively encourages you to put the pedal to the metal, leave the scene and head for the Embassy.
The above information is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.