Fresh Bid to Abolish Breathalysers

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A fresh bid has been launched at the High Court seeking to stop the use of the breathalysers.

Kariuki Ruitha, the proprietor of Reminisce Sports Bar Ltd in Nairobi, wants police prohibited from erecting roadblocks to force motorists to take the breath test to confirm whether they have consumed alcohol beyond the prescribed limit.

In his suit to be heard today by Justice Isaac Lenaola, Ruitha says there is no provision in the Traffic Act that empowers the Transport Cabinet Secretary to prescribe the maximum amount of alcohol a motorist may consume without committing a traffic offence.

He says Section 44 of the Traffic Act criminalises the driving of a car under the influence of alcohol to an extent that the driver has no proper control of the vehicle.

“The question of how much alcohol a motorist can lawfully consume in a democratic country belongs to Parliament, whose processes ensure public consultation and research to determine the permissible levels,” he says.

Ruitha says his business faces a bleak future and imminent collapse unless the illegal enforcement of the breathalyser rules is suspended.

Through lawyer Kibe Mungai, the businessman says the arrest and prosecution of motorists for consuming alcohol beyond the limit prescribed by the minister is unlawful unless such a motorist is unable to maintain proper control of the car.

Kibe wants the case referred to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga as it “raises substantial questions of law”.

 

Source: The Star

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