Drinking and Driving in Dubai can lead to serious consequences. Understanding Dubai’s laws and regulations regarding alcohol consumption and driving is crucial when discussing the issue of drinking and driving.

Laws and Regulations on Drinking and Driving in Dubai

Zero Tolerance Policy

Dubai has a strict zero-tolerance policy towards driving under the influence of alcohol. Any detectable amount of alcohol in the bloodstream is considered an offense. Unlike some countries that have a specific Blood Alcohol Concentration (“BAC”) limit, Dubai has a zero-tolerance approach, meaning any level of alcohol in the blood is prohibited.

Legal Consequences for drinking and driving in Dubai

Penalties for violating DUI laws are severe and can include fines, imprisonment, and license suspension.Repeat offenders face more severe consequences.

The legal system in the United Arab Emirates, including Dubai, is based on Sharia law and statutes. It’s important to note that laws can change, and it’s advisable to consult the most recent and authoritative legal sources for the latest information. Additionally, specific articles and provisions may be subject to amendments. As of my last update, the UAE penal code includes provisions related to driving under the influence (DUI). Here’s a general overview:


UAE Federal Traffic Law (Federal Law No. 21 of 1995, as amended by Federal Law No. 12/2007)

Articles 49 addresses potential legal consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs:

Shall be sentenced to imprisonment and/or to a minimum fine of twenty five thousand Dirhams, whoever commits any one of the following acts:

1- Fabricating or forging numbers plates or using a fabricated or forged plate.

2- Deformation or obliteration or changing the information on a number plate and using it for the purpose it was meant for.

3- Using or permitting others to use a number plate, with knowledge of its deformation or obliteration or change.

4- Transfer a numbers plate from one vehicle to another without approval of the Licensing authority.

5- Refraining from stopping in the event of occurrence of an accident, by or against, resulting in damage to persons, without acceptable excuse.

6- Driving or attempting to drive a vehicle on the road while under the effect of alcoholic drinks or anesthetic substances and the like.


Articles 342 and 343 of Federal Law No. 31/2021 (also known as the UAE Criminal Code) are also applicable

Article 342

Any person who, due to his fault, causes an accident for any sea, air, or land means of public transportation which may impair them or endanger the life of persons, shall be sentenced to a jail sentence and a fine or either one of these two penalties.

If the act results in a catastrophe, the penalty shall be temporary imprisonment.

Article 343Any person who wilfully endangers the safety of any means of private transportation in any way, shall be liable to a jail sentence.

Temporary imprisonment shall be imposed if the act is committed, wilfully, against the means of transportation of police or security bodies.

Random Testing

Dubai authorities rarely conduct random sobriety checks, especially during weekends and public events. Drivers could, however, in principle, be stopped at checkpoints, and breathalyzer tests may be administered.

Alcohol Purchase & Consumption

Alcohol can only be consumed in licensed venues such as hotels, bars, and clubs. It is illegal to drink alcohol in public places, including streets and beaches unless they hold appropriate license. In order to drink in the house Dubai residents used to need to acquire a license but this is no longer required although each purchase is registered with appropriate identification.

Month of Ramadan

During the holy month of Ramadan, there used to be restrictions on purchase and consumption of alcohol which are more and more disappearing. There are some days that are officially recognized are dry days/nights and venues will not serve any alcohol to consumers (even bars and restaurants)

Awareness Campaigns

Dubai authorities regularly conduct awareness campaigns on the dangers of drinking and driving. These campaigns emphasize the legal consequences, potential harm to oneself and others, and the importance of responsible behavior.

Conclusion on Drinking and Driving Dubai

Drinking under the influence can have serious consequences in Dubai. Dubai encourages the use of public transportation or taxi services as alternatives to driving after consuming alcohol. Applications such as Uber and Careem and the cost of public transport  make it inexcusable to drive under the influence.


We hope this post will help you understand the potential consequences of drinking and driving under the influence and alcohol and remain available for any questions regarding this post of general application. For any additional questions of personalized inquiries please text us at info@rubertpartners.com.

For more information on UAE law we we do invite you to take a look to our earlier publications here.  You may also watch Partner Maria Rubert’s video in her YouTube channel here.

*The information on this page and post is not intended to be legal advice. This publication is intended to provide an initial introduction to this topic and expert advice and updates on regulation is strongly encouraged.