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Anti-drunk drivers operations back on roads

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By ANDREW BAGALA

Posted  Tuesday, December 3  2013 at  02:00
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KAMPALA- Police have resumed the drunk-driving operations that had informally put on halt following pressure from brewery companies and motorists at the beginning of this year.

Mr Andrew Felix Kaweesi, the Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, said the operations would resume to curb accidents caused by motorists under the influence.
“We can’t continue losing lives. So we are resuming the operations to arrest and fine drunk-drivers from today (Monday),” Mr Kaweesi said.

The required alcohol consumption limit is 35ml of alcohol/100ml of breath, but Mr Kaweesi said some motorists’ alcohol consumption measure above 160ml of alcohol/100ml of breath.

Police attribute 80 per cent of registered road accidents to human factor that include driving under the influence of alcohol.

Mr Kaweesi said the force would apply the drunk-driving offence under the new statutory instrument No.9, 2013 issued by the minister of Works and Transport.

Under the law drunk-driving is fined Shs200,000, but police says they would not rule out detaining such individuals as well.

Before the new instrument, drunk-drivers would be arraigned in court where they would be fined between Shs400,000 and Shs1.2 million or sentenced to imprisonment for a period not less than six months and not exceeding two years or both.

Traffic offenders who would be given Express Penalty Scheme tickets but fail to pay within 28 days will be subjected to a surcharge of 50 per cent by Uganda Revenue Authority.

In 2012, police issued penalty tickets worth Shs13.7 billion out of which Shs7 billion was paid by traffic offenders.

Road and traffic safety statistics showed a decline in death on the road from 3,343 people in 2011 to 3,124 last year.

Pedestrians and motorcycles are the leading victims of accidents on the road with 1,243 and 571 incidents respectively.

abagala@ug.nationmedia.com