NTSA Will Continue Arresting Drunk Drivers Using AlcoBlow Tests


The National Transport and Safety Authority yesterday said it will continue arresting drunk drivers using AlcoBlow tests.

The authority will, however, use a different section of the law to charge the drivers, following last Friday’s court ruling saying AlcoBlow violated traffic laws.

NTSA director general Francis Meja told reporters they will instead stop using the breathalyser rules in charging the drink-drivers.

He said following the court ruling, NTSA will apply Section 44 (1) of the Traffic Act which outlaws anyone from driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other substances.

“We have not received any court order stopping us from the using the AlcoBlow and the operation will continue, apart from the charges, which will be substituted,” Meja said.

He defended the use of the breathalyser, saying drunk-driving had contributed to many accidents across the country.

NTSA board chairman Joseph Waweru and director general Francis Meja at the Lake Naivasha Country Club yesterday /GEORGE MURAGE

Meja spoke to the press at Lake Naivasha Country Club during a two-day workshop for County Transport and Safety Committees.

Last week, the Court of Appeal said the use of breathalysers to charge drunken drivers in court is illegal.

A three-judge bench said the laws introduced by NTSA are inconsistent with the Traffic Act.

Appeal judges GBM Kariuki, Festus Azangalala and Fatuma Sichale ordered that they be taken back to Parliament for review.

The judges said anyone found drunk-drink-driving should be charged under traffic laws, not AlcoBlow rules.

Yesterday Meja said concerted measures have led to the reduction of fatal accidents this year, compared to last year. According to the statistics, by April 8 this year, 318 pedestrians had died compared to last year’s 341.

Other numbers show the number of passengers fatalities is the highest at 182, followed by motorcyclists at 147. A total of 83 drivers have died so far.

Meja said they are working with county governments to address safety issues to reduce accidents.

“The drop in the number of road accidents is due to concerted measures by various stakeholders, like training for boda boda operators and enforcing the new traffic rules,” he said.

NTSA board chairman Joseph Waweru said the County Transport and Safety committees were mandated to oversee safety in their counties.

“We have started with committees from 14 counties in this workshop, which is meant to enlighten them on safety so that we can address the issue of the high number of accidents,” he said.