WATCH: Woman screams as JMPD officers restrain her for blood alcohol test - but City of Joburg insists its 'legal'

2019-07-08 17:45
(Screengrab, Twitter)

(Screengrab, Twitter)

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The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JPMD) is legally allowed to physically restrain a person who refuses to provide a blood sample for law enforcement purposes, the City's member of the mayoral committee for safety, Michael Sun, said on Monday. 

This after a video emerged purportedly showing a woman screaming inside an office with some people in uniform around her. Social media comments said she was being held down so that a blood sample could be taken, with some criticising the way the test was done.

"I have noted with concern a video circulating on social media of a woman being restrained by a [JMPD] officer while another person, purported to be a nurse, appears to prepare to draw blood from the resident," said Sun in a statement.

He added the woman had allegedly failed a breathalyser test, necessitating the JMPD to arrest and take her to the Douglasdale police station for further processing.

"It is critical to note that the law does permit a police officer to physically restrain a person who refuses to provide a blood sample for law enforcement purposes," Sun said. 

The City has, in the meantime, begun an internal investigation to determine whether the appropriate amount of force was used.

In the video, the woman is seen briefly as somebody films her through a window, and tells somebody else also to film the scene. Her leg is seen kicking out as she continues screaming.

The JMPD's chief superintendent, Wayne Minnaar, said if a person appeared to be driving while over the legal limit, officers were allowed to test them. 

They use either a Dräger or an Evidential Breath Alcotest device and if it detects the driver is over the legal limit, a blood sample is taken. 

At times breathalysers are not used if the person is clearly drunk.

Telltale signs are red eyes; bloodshot eyes; breath on alcohol; unsteadiness on their feet and disorientation with time. If the person is over the limit, they will spend the night in jail and apply for bail to be released. The results of the blood test can take months. 

As part of the investigation, the officers in the video have been identified. 

Read more on:    jmpd  |  drunk driving
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