Monday, June 08, 2009

Is getting jailed for being drunk legal?

I recently heard the story, from a friend of mine, that his friend was found outside an Abu Dhabi bar by policemen, drunk, and was taken into custody. Granted, the drunk guy had fallen (or passed out), so he was found laying on the street. He was first taken to hospital to get his alcohol level checked, and was then taken to jail where he's still being kept to this day.

He's been there for 5 days now and does not know when he will get out. The police moved him from one prison to another then back to the first prison, then again to the 2nd prison.

Is this legal? I mean, the guy was not driving, and as far as I'm concerned, if there are clubs/bars in the UAE, it means that you are allowed to drink. The guy did not get into a fight and he did not hurt anyone. He is Christian, southeast Asian, but does not have a liquor license. I understand that the police would jail someone for a day or two, but 5 days??

Can anyone shed some light on what the law says about this?

35 comments:

redstar said...

Not sure, but not having a liquor licence was pretty foolish...

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not. Consuming Alcohol is a crime in the city where there are bars in malls and alcohol shops on the street!

Naseem said...

First he need a lawyer.

second. as per the UAE Code of Conduct section 2 article 2.2

"Alcohol consumption shall be confined to designated areas (i.e licensed restaurants and venues that serve alcohol to their clients). Being caught under the effect of alcohol outside these places (even in light doses) can lead to a fine or incarceration."

this what I call insanity... they serve alcohol and they catch you on the door O_o

S said...

This is a classical case of what I was taught in political science class over 17 years ago about the difference between "the law and its application." As Naseem points out, it is illegal to be caught under the effect of alcohol outside designated places. However, the police will not apply the law except when it is necessary (e.g. this guy passing out). Another example, everyone knows that is illegal to drink and drive. If the police want too, they can be outside of any popular club on Thursday and arrest everyone who drives from there as 99% would have been drinking. They do not do that because the majority of people go back home and sleep. However, if they endanger anyone, then the police would interfere. Again, application and the law.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine was on a visit visa (i.e. here on holiday) and was drunk. He was in the passenger seat in a vehicle that was involved in an accident with someone important. Because he got up in court and testified against the driver of the other car (the other car was in the wrong) he was charged with consuming alcohol without a license. Note that you cannot get a license if you are not a resident. Anyway, as "S" says above, its how they choose to apply the law - the police leave people alone that do not cause trouble for them. Keep your nose clean and you will be left alone!

moryarti said...

Agree with S.

In arabic, the offense is called "Ta3a6i Ku7ool" and most prisoners here fall under that catagory, second is laon and defaulters (just fyi ya3ni)

He'll be OK, but most likely he may end up paying a fine or getting 3 months (depending on the judge) - thats the max sentance i think

waitress said...

It really should be illegal. This place is turning into a police state more and more each day.

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

It is illegal, As Nseem posted, the law is VERy clear. Being drunk ANYWHERE other than a license bar/club is ILLEGAL. No matter where he is from or what religious he professes.

The police have the right to hold him till he is arraigned, which can be anything from 24 hours to TWO WEEKS.

After that his case will be heard. the minimum punishment is a fine. I believe 2000. The maximum is DEPORTATION. He can be given anything in between in terms of jail time (1 to 6 months)

No honey, this place isnt becoming a police state, but it's always tried to find a balance beyween being a decent place, and affording you your filthy "luxuries"

Dont like it? Fucking leave.

Ghost Writer said...

Since when do the police act rationally anyway?!

Dubai Sunshine said...

Blessing. I am very happy here thank you very much and do not feel the need to leave at all. How about you leave instead?

vagabondblogger said...

They could possibly jail him for 6 months, with other expats (i.e. anyone who is not an Emirati - the Emiratis have special jails). That was the law when I left in 2002. Also, when I was there, the police would issue a bounty to cab drivers. If they had a ride that was drunk, they would be given 50 dirhams if they turned him in. They would just drive him to the police station and drop him off, collecting a nice little fee. At that time a ride across town was about 5 dirhams.

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

Dubai Sunshine said...
Blessing. I am very happy here thank you very much and do not feel the need to leave at all. How about you leave instead?

Read my blog habibi, I'm from here, I have a legal RIGHT to be here, you leave. oh, and fuck yourself as you're at it!

sky said...

Wow. What is up with you Blessing?

You can disagree, no need to be disrespectful.

We also have a legal right to be here.

othman said...

watch a movie called

BRAZIL 1985

and you will answer ur self

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

You can disagree, no need to be disrespectful.

We also have a legal right to be here.

I'm respectful to those who warrent respect. If you are:

1. from a country that boms other countries
2. not muslim
3. someone I dont like

You arent worth respect.

as for you having a legal right to be here. No, you actually dont. My right to be here is protected by both the 4th and 14th "babs" (Amendments if you wish) of the UAE constitution.

YOU are here only because YOUR MASTER allows you to be. Open up your passport to the UAE VISA in it... where it says sponsor... THAT is your master, and you are his/it's slave.

Simple, true.

Anonymous said...

Marhaba,
i just came across this post and i realised this avent took place some months ago bas i thought id add my 2 dhs worth of what i have seen livig in haleej for 23 years.
A person who is pass out on a street or a drunk person behind the wheel of a car in uae yes will probably face jail.It takes a few days for the paper work to be sorted and a court appearnace is asked of the person...what happens next is up to the shariah judge not anyone else.
Note
Police find a man on the foot path passed out, they need to find out why he is passed out, didhe get hurt, was there a fight, has someone done somethign to him that could kill him.. so they take him to hospital to get answers and then to a jail cell where he can recover and take medication or what ever is needed as per hospital orders.
The laws in uae are very relaxed on people drinking and going out partying, the police are very usefull people, hacing called the police myself in a club because i was being verbally abused by a man who wanted a hooker for the night, they came and asked if i wanted to press charges, which i said no to but they did take him away and have him think bout his actions, which is good because otherwise he would be out on the strets pestering other decent women. This was some 9 years ago.

I have to agree with what blessing has said in a way.. it not our country, we are not mawatan, we are on resident visa or visit visa's & the locals have the choice to run their country how they like, if we dont like it we can take the next flight home or to a place where one feels more happier. I dnt agree with saying cos your not muslim you cant be welcomed here, i was a non muslim 7 yrs ago and now a muslim.. life has changed for me alot religion wise but i dnt feel uae is a racist place at all.

I just hope that when people go out and drink, they get a taxi called for them & if they know they cant handle their booze they shouldnt drink at all full stop.

Personal Injury Attorney Houston said...

Getting drunk while driving is illegal. Drunk but not driving and your driver is driving is not illegal.

Dubai Property said...

I am not sure about such laws in UAE but I am of the opinion that UAE on one side wants to keep its islamic identity and on other side allows drinking alcohol in bars, night clubs but not in public like it's allowed to wear lingerie at beaches and pools but not at public places. Too much confusing.

Yacht Charter in Dubai said...

I dont know much about the laws in UAE but i think drinking alcohol should be illegel

Anonymous said...

I am going to Dubai from the UK to visit a friend of mine who now lives there, ill be staying with him during the time I am there, would I be ok to go out and have a few drinks, even though I do not have a licence and I won't be staying at a hotel?

Anonymous said...

No, I fell foul of this law a few months ago walking home from a bar, arrested, fined 2000 penalty then released. Left country

Was arrested again entering as case went to court and paid another 2000.
Worried it can affect me with other gcc visa

Nerica Calma said...

Dear Sir anonymous my friend had a drunk case that have been went to court. I just want to ask for how long does it takes for the judge to finish the case? days? weeks or months?

Anonymous said...

To the all people have question about drinking ,
1.my friend was in a taxi and the taxi made an accident they catch my friend and put him in jail cus he had some beers but he did nothing wrong and he could control him self as like normall .. he is french ..,
so they put him in jail for one day they have his passport till now been 1 month , no one tells him where to go and what to do no any court date till now , he is hoping receive an sms for the court date as long the didnt give him any paper except that they have his passport , he have been to police several time and no one give him a right answer just hand him over to another officer ,
the answer is if you have alcohol license and you get caught in a taxi out of club out of hotel or bar you be charged minimum of 2000 aed up to 3 months jail and deportation ,
basicly is allowed to pay them alcohol money , as long its good business for the government and there is no other thing to do in dubai no nature ,,not much places to have fun , so be aware of being drunk in dubai .. being in a taxi can be a huge pain for you as long as you dont know is he gonna make any mistake police catch him ... then you are in trouble ,, or if he dont like you and call police they will send you to jail directly and they will disrespect you as much as you can .. to all the locals if you having a good life its all cus of those people who drink or make hotels and spend money in this country you also should be kind inof to them not say its our country stay or live .. maybe not any one get involved with this problems .. but those people are the reason your country is grown and if they leave .. the country goes down .. we respect of good opportunity in dubai and safe city , you guys should do the same to people are leaving here othere wise i dosent take long , the country goes down ....as far as i know people travel to turkey these days cus there is more freedom and human rights

apoorv said...

only fine no jail just write application to public prosecution and submit the same in dubai police to forward the case to dubai court for hearing your plea after submitting it take near about one month to processed your request and you will receive call for your case

Anonymous said...

A Blessing in Tragedy said...
Read my blog habibi, I'm from here, I have a legal RIGHT to be here, you leave. oh, and fuck yourself as you're at it!
--

Well, swearing in a public place, (which this is), is also an offence punishable by jail. So, you also have a legal RIGHT to go to jail.

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Anonymous said...

I think The cops did their job perfectly...however Consuming Alcohol is a crime in the city. If u want to drink then you dont ride in the streets.Intresting Bars with Different Names will attract to people to drink.

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Anonymous said...

My friend and his 3 friends were caught last Saturday night on the way to al ain from abu dhabi for having a drink. They rented a cab and had small accident on the way, however they didn't hit a person just got crashed on the side of street. His friend who was driving also had a drink. They were shifted from one jail to another. The police doesn't allow anyone to meet and also don't tell when the court hearing is. Please answer me when they will be released and what sort of fine they have to pay. Its been a week since they are in jail. They all are a job holder in uae.

law office in dubai said...

getting drunk is not illegal but do something wrong and in the end you said its happens because i drunk not good and also drinking is not a good habit.

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Anonymous said...

i was charged and fined with drink and fight with someone and got fined 3000 but i couldnt pay so judge send me in abu dhabi jail for month after one month they released me.my qustion is after one month jail is this criminal record in police records.do i need noc for securty guard job please help me.