Centre to put brakes on drunk drivers in Limpopo

Monday, April 11, 2011

Polokwane - An Alcohol Evidence Centre will officially be opened in Polokwane on Tuesday in a bid to increase the successful prosecution of drunk drivers in Limpopo.

The R1 million state-of-the-art centre is a South African Breweries initiative aimed at assisting law enforcement officials to accurately and efficiently determine the breath alcohol levels of motorists suspected to be driving under the influence of alcohol.

"The centre has the necessary equipment that makes it easy for law enforcement officials to collect evidence in cases involving people caught driving under the influence. Through the evidence collected, we expect an increase in successful prosecution of offending drivers," said spokesman for the provincial Roads and Transport Department, Thesan Moodley.

Moodley said the centre would use advanced equipment to accurately detect a driver's alcohol level through a single breath sample.

He said the centre hosts a breathalyser test room, where traffic officers will conduct alcohol tests on drivers who are suspected to be exceeding the legal alcohol limit of 0.24 milligrams of alcohol per 1 000 millilitres of breath.

"If the driver is found to be over the limit, he or she will be arrested, charged and prosecuted," said Moodley.

SAB Director of Corporate Affairs and Transformation, Vincent Maphai, said the drive to open the centres began in November 2008 and saw ten centres being established in various provinces at the cost of R1 million each.

"We see this as an investment in the safety of our roads because measureable consequence is the key to changing behaviour and attitude to driving under the influence," said Maphai in a statement.

Maphai said between October 2009 and October 2010, more than 9 000 people were arrested for driving under the influence after being tested at the centres.

"Based on these facts, a clear solution was to commit our investment to supporting law enforcement agencies challenged to bring more offenders to task," he said.

Provincial roads and transport MEC Pinky Kekana is expected to inspect the equipment at the Polokwane centre during the official opening. - BuaNews