Dozens of PMB drunks nabbed

2007-12-31 00:00

THIRTY-EIGHT people were arrested for drinking and driving in Pietermaritzburg over the weekend during a roving road block conducted by the Transport Department and relevant authorities, while in Ixopo nine vehicles were suspended and 271 found with many defects.

Commenting on the arrests made in Pietermaritzburg, traffic spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu said people in the city do not seem to learn and that repeat offenders are being caught.

Roadblocks in the city are netting 30 or more drunk drivers at any given time, she said.

“Even though the police are doing their jobs, people in the city are not scared of being arrested. Some of them are being arrested for the second and third time. It really looks like we are dealing with a heavy problem, but we assure all offenders that they will be dealt with accordingly,” Mngomezulu said.

Local anti-drinking and driving campaigner Caro Smit has, through her South Africans against Drunk Drivers (SADD) organisation, been calling for stiffer penalties for those caught intoxicated while behind the wheel. SADD want drivers licences to be suspended as per the National Road Traffic Act and want offenders, especially repeat offenders, to be imprisoned.

Mngomezulu expressed concern that one of those arrested in Ixopo was a local SAPS member, who had by far the highest reading of those arrested, at 1,33 mg per 1 000 ml. The legal limit for drivers is 0,24 mg per 1 000 ml.

According to Mngomezulu, all those arrested on alcohol charges will appear in court today.

She also said that in Ixopo it was discovered that most of the vehicles in the town were not up to standard because people there do not appear to bother to carry out routine checks on their cars. “During the same roadblock, seven people were arrested for drinking and driving,”she said.

Mngomezulu added that a driver in Ixopo was arrested for carrying a fraudulent licence. “I would advise people in Ixopo to make sure that they take their cars to the nearest testing stations to ensure that their cars are roadworthy because it is in the interests of their own safety and that of other road users,” she said.

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