Khaleej Times, Monday, Sep 18, 2023 | Rabi Al-Awwal 3, 1445
UAE: What happens if your friend violates traffic laws while driving your 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 for 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
- 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 penalised 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.