Motorists arrested over the Easter holiday for driving under the influence of alcohol were on Wednesday directed to cough hefty fines after pleading guilty to the offence.
The drivers were each directed to pay Sh30,000 fine after pleading guilty to driving under the influence of drink contrary to section 44(1) of the Traffic Act.
They were Douglas Kamanda, Titus Maina, Davis Ngeno, Peter Muia, and Kevin Kamau.
The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has preferred to have drunk drivers charged under the Traffic Act, which currently remains the applicable law because the Traffic Breathalyzer Rules 2010, were last month declared unlawful.
The prosecution on Wednesday told the traffic court, that the drivers “were found driving under the influence of alcohol on a public road to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of their motor vehicle contrary to section 44(1) of the Traffic Act.”
Appellate judges GBM Kariuki, Fatuma Sichale and Festus Azangalala had two weeks ago ruled that, “No one can be charged under rule 3(1) of the Breathalyzer rules. Although the enforcement of the Traffic Breathalyzer Rules 2010 is part of the lawful duty of the police to detect crime, they were badly drafted and must give way to the Traffic Act.”
The Appellate judges had also said that the Breathalyzer rules do not create an offence independent of sections 44, and 45 of the Traffic Act, and that they are incapable of creating an offence.
Separately, the NTSA has said that it undertook drink driving operations in all counties during the Easter holidays, where a number of drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
“Those arrested were arraigned in various courts across the country, and were charged with the offense of drink driving contrary to Section 44 (1) of the Traffic Act and fined between Sh20, 000 to Sh40, 000,” the communication from NTSA reads.
The authority added that members of the public are warned that driving under the influence of alcohol is an offense and that it will continue to execute its mandate so as to keep the roads safe.