‘Name and shame’ called off

2011-10-18 00:00

AN initiative in KwaZulu-Natal to name and shame convicted drunk drivers has been halted following a judgment in a Western Cape court that Drager breathalyser machines do not provide accurate results.

KZN transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said most of the cases rely on the machine and the department had to stop the project after Cape Town judgment.

He said authorities will have to use blood tests to verify drunk driving cases.

“We are trying to find ways of taking nurses and doctors with us so that they can help during the taking of blood samples from drunk drivers,” Ncalane said.

Western Cape High Court Judge Nathan Erasmus ruled earlier this year in a case involving motorists Clifford Hendricks that the Drager test to measure alcohol levels cannot provide an accurate result.

South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD) activist Caro Smit said her organisation will continue the naming and shaming campaign.

“We will continue to run with the name-and-shame campaign to try to bring down the crash rate from drink driving. At present only blood tests are being done and this means it can take six months or more to get results back,” Smit said.

SADD has spoken to traffic officers who do not seem aware that in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act any registered practitioner, doctor or nurse can draw blood within the two-hour window period, as long as a SAPS 308 A form has been completed by the arresting officer and the special sealed blood kit is given to the doctor or nurse, she said.

“It is also advisable for the doctor or nurse to record the level of intoxication by doing the necessary behavioural assessment, as this test in itself stands up in court,” Smit said.

Ncalane said they will continue the campaign once everything is in order.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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