Forty-six people were arrested in the Western Cape over the weekend and the highest breath alcohol level recorded was 1.11mg/1,000ml in Mossel Bay – four times over the legal limit.
The arrests were made on December 13 and 14, according to Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa.
KwaZulu-Natal recorded 81 arrests for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol in December.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for transport, community safety and liaison, Bheki Ntuli, has lambasted the 81 drunk drivers who have been arrested in the province since December 1, for “putting innocent lives at risk by driving under the influence of alcohol”.
According to a statement issued by the department, the motorist with the highest alcohol content was arrested in Umdloti on Sunday afternoon and his alcohol reading was 1.33mg/l. This motorist was driving a minibus taxi and was 13 times over the legal alcohol limit.
A driver of a light motor vehicle whose alcohol reading was 1.13mg/l was arrested in Dundee on Friday. He was five times over the legal alcohol limit.
The highest speed recorded in the Western Cape was 157km/h in 120km/h zone in Brackenfell. Africa said fines worth more than R930,000 were issued in the province.
In KwaZulu-Natal, eight motorists were arrested for speeding since December 1. The highest speed clocked was 193km/h on the N2 in uMkhomazi. The speeding motorist was driving a VW Polo and was granted bail of R3,000.
“The number of road crashes decreased from 83 to 68 since December 1, which represents an 18.07% decrease compared to the same period in 2018, while the number of fatalities also reduced from 115 to 79 during this period, which represents a 31.30% decrease,” Ntuli said.
Ntuli warned that those who continue to undermine the authority of the state would face the full might of the law as additional law enforcement authorities had been deployed on all major roads as part of the rolling festive season integrated safety plan.
“A large number of traffic officers have been deployed on provincial roads, predominantly covering the N2 and N3 to ensure the maximum safety of motorists. Police visibility has also been intensified. Road Traffic Inspectorate officers are not only going to focus on drunk drivers but will also concentrate on checking the roadworthiness of vehicles, overloading, as well as motorists who use mobile phones while driving. Those who insist on breaking the law and endangering the lives of others will feel the dire consequences of their actions,” said Ntuli.
As of December 1, a total of 43,706 vehicles were stopped and checked by Road Traffic Inspectorate officers as part of the festive season enforcement plan aimed at promoting safety on provincial roads. Officers issued 3,745 written charges for various offences and 967 motorists were charged for clocking up high speeds. Furthermore, 285 motorists were charged for driving without a licence.
“Although we are seeing a decrease in the number of accidents and fatalities on our roads, far too many people are still dying on our roads because one death is one too many. The high recorded number of fatalities on provincial roads accidents are due to speeding, reckless and negligent driving causing the driver to lose control. Furthermore, drivers consuming alcohol while driving or driving while drunk are other causes attributed to human factors in fatal accidents. Police are implementing a zero-tolerance policy against drinking and driving this festive season and this practice needs to stop immediately,” Ntuli warned.
Integrated roadblocks are planned throughout the province targeting all degrees of crime including unroadworthy vehicles, overloading, distractive driving, drinking and driving, illegal drugs, illegal firearms and illegal immigrants.
Ntuli also said law enforcement agencies would be shutting down all unlicensed liquor outlets in the province. Those with licences will also be monitored to ensure adherence to licencing provisions and the law.
“Police will be out in full force to apprehend and charge any delinquent liquor traders who flout the conditions of their trade and those operating illegally as many crimes occur in close proximity to these unregulated establishments,” Ntuli said.