DUI convicted man puts ordeal to good use

2016-01-11 10:15

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Pietermaritzburg - A man who has served 70 hours of community service after being convicted for drinking and driving is on a quest to share his story so others can avoid a similar fate.

Durban resident Vukile Madiba recounts the night that changed his life in December 2011. The beers were flowing and the jokes were rolling as he and some friends “warmed up” at a Phoenix home preparing to head out to one of the many nightclubs in Springfield.

“I could have killed innocent people,” he said. “I had drunk about four or five dumpies. After that we decided to go to a nightclub in Springfield. While travelling along Umgeni road, we were stopped by police,” he recalls.

“I was told that I was over the limit and I spent the whole night in a prison cell, which I shared with approximately 40 people. Lucky for me, most if not all of them had been arrested for drunk driving. They were not hardened criminals,” he said.

He had felt humiliation at spending a night in a jail cell, however. Madiba had consumed more than double the legal limit of 0,24 mg alcohol per 1 000 ml of breath. Madiba said he had been made to believe his case was struck off the roll because police could not find the results of his blood test. “Only this year, which is about four years later, I got a call from the warrant officer telling me that a warrant of arrest had been issued,” said Madiba. With the threat of jail time now a reality he approached Nicro (National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders) for help.

“I got a suspended fine and I did community service at Brighton Beach police station washing cars, cleaning and doing filing in the station,” he said.

He has since been sharing his experience with other offenders and people battling with alcohol abuse.

Nicro CEO Soraya Solomon says prison is not the best option for offenders who have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI).

“In fact, the prison experience may lead the DUI offender down a path of more serious crime,” said Solomon.

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