LETTER: ‘Drunk drivers are murderers’

2016-01-19 06:00

Upon reading and seeing the festive season statistics we have to thank the officers of all our law enforcement agencies for their efforts to prevent road carnage and promote safety on our highways and byways.

What was disturbing was the number of drivers arrested for drunk driving. These criminal actors must be regarded as potential serial murderers on our roads and the law must be amended to make it easy, very legally easy, to convict them. In turn, the justice department has to impose or be requested to institute harsh jail sentences.

Years ago, as a police officer, I would in my statement under oath on arresting a driver for drunk driving, state how the car was being driven on a public road and note the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath, the driver’s slurred speech as well as the driver’s attitude. After the arrest the driver would be taken to a doctor and blood would be taken.

The whole objective was to obtain a guilty verdict for the driver on a charge of drunken driving, which would carry the heavier sentence.

Now, if we see the almost desperate technical situation law enforcement has to implement to prove drunken drivers guilty, one gets the impression that the drunken driver has carte blanche in relation to his rights if ever convicted. It seems the most problematic issue is the blood samples of the driver getting lost or contaminated or corrupted.

Why is the statement of the arresting official and the witness not sufficient in a court of law to get the drunken driver guilty?

The law must bend constitutionally in favour of the statement and evidence of the witnesses in drunken driving cases. The other proposal is that the blood sample must only come into play when the drunken driver appeals. I think that will really get a driver thinking twice before he drinks and drives.

Keith Alfred Adolph Blake, Ottery

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