Bill to give alcoblow fiery breath



If you have been arrested more than three times for drunk-driving, you may soon be banned from driving on Kenyan roads, if a bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki is passed. Consequently, it will be easier for police officers to arrest a drunk motorist as the bill seeks to reduce acceptable levels of alcohol from the current 0.3 to 0.005 for a driver. The bill also proposes to remove immunities extended to members of armed forces and MPs on the sale of alcohol in their premises.

Alcohol advertisements and promotions on broadcast media between 6am and 10pm may also become a thing of the past if the bill is adopted by the National Assembly. The bill, however, sparked opposition from senators, who termed most of the recommendations unrealistic. Bonny Khalwale (Kakamega) said the proposals must be subjected to a stakeholder debate before they are adopted by the House. He opposed attempt to scrap immunities extended Parliament and Armed Forces Canteen Organisation(Afco) shops, which benefit from tax exemptions on a wide range of products, including alcohol.

“We must rethink this clause. In a place like Afco there are no children who buy alcohol. Members of the armed forces operate under very stressful conditions and if you tell them they can’t drink alcohol, you will only be increasing the level of madness,” said Khalwale. Otieno Kajwang’ (Homa Bay) opposed provisions seeking to have traditional brews registered by government.

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