Cape Town – A motorist five times over the legal limit at 05:30 in the morning became the first casualty of the City of Cape Town’s random breath testing, launched in Bloubergstrand on Friday.
The driver was arrested when a reading of 0.94 was recorded during randomised tests on Otto Du Plessis Drive, followed by another motorist’s apprehension for being three times over the limit at 0.609.
Mayoral committee member for safety, security and social services JP Smith said the drunk drivers were tested with new handheld screening devices which allow for very rapid testing, part of a strategy to "drive down" the scourge.
"It is hard to believe that people on a Friday morning at this time could be under the influence of alcohol already," an incredulous Smith said.
The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works launched the pilot phase of the initiative in the Overberg earlier this month as part of a joint project of the national, provincial, and local governments.
The model, the department explained, was based on those used in countries like Australia, where the states of New South Wales and Victoria recorded a 20% reduction in alcohol-related traffic injuries within two years of implementation.