Implications and fines if another person is caught violating rules with his/her car.
Question: A friend of mine with a valid UAE driving license has requested me to provide one of my cars for his personal use. However, I am concerned and would like to know what legal consequences I may face if I give my car to the said friend and he is caught consuming alcohol while driving my car, or committing any illegal activities using my car.
Answer: Pursuant to your queries, the provisions of Federal Law No. 21 of 1995 on Federal Traffic Law amended by Federal Law No. 12 of 2007, Ministerial Resolution No. (178) for the year 2017 on Rules and Procedures of Traffic Control and Federal Decree Law No. 31 of 2021 on the Issuance of the Crimes and Penalties Law are applicable.
In the UAE, it is illegal to drive a vehicle when an individual is under the influence of alcohol and shall be imprisoned and/or pay fines. This is in accordance with Article 49 of the UAE Traffic Law, which states,
“Shall be sentenced to imprisonment and/or to a minimum fine of Twenty-Five Thousand Dirhams, whoever commits any one of the following act:
Driving or attempting to drive a vehicle on the road while under the effect of alcoholic drinks or anaesthetic substances and the like.”
Further, Article 10 of the UAE Traffic Law states the obligations of an individual, who drives a vehicle on the roads of UAE. One of the primary obligations is that he or she should not be under the influence of alcohol or narcotic substances as mentioned in Article 10(6) of the UAE Traffic Law. It is also important to note that Article 10 (10) of the UAE Traffic Law states that an individual who drives a vehicle needs to drive within the stipulated maximum limit of speed limits.
Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, if your friend uses your car and he is caught driving your car due to the reason that he was under the influence of alcohol, then the police may confiscate your car. This is in accordance with Article 59 (3) of the UAE Traffic Law, which states,
“A policeman may arrest any vehicle driver if found involved in the commitment of one of the following crimes:
Driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any other narcotic or the like, thus depriving him of his power of control over it.”
Furthermore, the police may also confiscate your car if your friend is engaged in reckless driving which may cause death or injury or safety concerns to other vehicles or the public, refuses to provide his personal details, and if he or she flees from the location of the accident. This is in accordance with Article 59 of the UAE Traffic Law.
In the event your friend is engaged in any illegal activities using your car, he may be imprisoned, detained, deported, or imposed with criminal penalties as mentioned in the provisions of UAE Penal Law which mentions the punishment for crimes committed by individuals by using the means of transportation (vehicles).
Moreover, any traffic offences committed by your friend using your car may end up in you having black points, fines, and restrictions on your driving license if your car is linked to your driving license. Ministerial Resolution of 2017 related to Rules and Procedures of Traffic Control mentions the nature of traffic violations, relevant fines, black points, vehicle retention, and suspension of driver's license. Therefore, it is up to your discretion whether you need to give your car to your friend to drive on the roads of UAE based on the relationship and the ethical behaviour of your friend. In the event, that you are penalized with black points and other traffic fines due to the violations of your friend using your car, you may contact the relevant license authority in the UAE whether the black points imposed on your car/driving license can be transferred to the driving license of your friend who has committed traffic violations while driving your car.
News Source: Khaleej Times