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August 14 , 2006

Zululand
OBSERVER

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Drinkers refuse to stop driving

Tanya
Waterworth


THE clampdown on drinking and driving has not been taken seriously by partygoers in Richards Bay.
Control Prosecutor for the District Court Olivia Eybers confirmed that yet again, over 50 arrests were made last weekend.
‘Due to the ongoing heavy case load of drunken driving arrests on a Monday morning, we are now spreading these cases over three days.
‘We have already finalised seventy per cent of the cases, while the remainder were remanded. Despite the crackdown, we do not see any change in behaviour as people continue to drink and drive,’ said Eybers.
For the recent cases, the highest fine was R10 000 and the lowest R1 000 for those caught slightly over the limit. Deputy Director of Traffic and Licensing Paul Olivier said that the traffic department will continue to hold operations to catch drunk drivers road.
‘Looking at the number of arrests, it appears drunk members of the public are still getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and driving.
‘We have had offenders who have been arrested up to five times.
‘Every week we update the arrest sheets and the judge is quite aware of repeat offenders. ‘We have asked the courts to increase the penalties in an effort to curb such danger on our roads,’ said Olivier.
Willing to speak to the Zululand Observer, one driver, who only wanted to be identified as Ronnie, had just been convicted of drunk driving and given a R4 000 fine.
Happy to admit that he had had ‘about seven whiskeys before trying to drive slowly home,’ Ronnie said his time spent in the cells was extremely unpleasant and that he was unhappy regarding the treatment he received.
‘There were about 19 of us packed into one cell and although I had R500 available for bail, I was kept in the cell for about ten hours and had to eat dry bread for breakfast.’
Authorities confirmed that even though an arrested person may have bail money available, they are held in cells for a minimum of four hours.

 

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12/02/2006 17:31

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