Cape cops nab drunks by the dozen

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File photo: Matthew Jordaan

Cape Town traffic and metro police officers made a string of drink-driving arrests at the weekend, including that of a police constable whose blood alcohol level was nearly double the legal limit.

In a series of roadblocks and operations across the city they arrested 114 suspects and issued several fines.

At a roadblock on Friday evening on Spine and Makabenet roads in Khayelitsha, officers arrested 16 suspects for driving under the influence of alcohol and issued 29 fines for other offences.

At the same roadblock, officers arrested a police constable who had a breathalyser reading of 0.54mg of alcohol per 1000ml of blood.

The policeman also had his service pistol and 16 rounds of ammunition on him at the time of his arrest.

Traffic officers arrested another 10 suspects for driving under the influence of alcohol at a roadblock in Elsies River on Friday where 36 fines for other offences were also issued.

On Saturday, officers arrested eight suspects for driving under the influence of alcohol in the Langa area.

During a traffic task team operation on Sunday in Nyanga, a further six suspects were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. At a roadblock in Belhar, 21 arrests were made for driving under the influence and another 25 arrests in Atlantis.

Executive director for safety and security Richard Bosman said five drivers were arrested at a roadblock on Jan Smuts Drive in Athlone and 11 more during patrols in the CBD, Table View, Elsies River, Bellville South and Atlantis.

In Kraaifontein, a suspect was arrested for assaulting a police officer when members of the metro police responded to a fighting incident at the Cape Gate mall parking area.

ZERO TOLERANCE

“Our festive season preparedness plan has been activated from 1 December and we are ready for the influx of visitors to our wonderful city. I would like to appeal to motorists to be patient and tolerant on the road.

“Our officers have adopted a zero tolerance approach to drunk drivers,” said Bosman.

Officials are also continuing a clampdown on motorists using cellphones while driving, with nearly 2000 cellphones confiscated between August and November. In that period, traffic officers issued fines totalling R17 579.

Of the 1947 cellphones impounded between August and November, around 1500 have been claimed back by motorists, who have to pay a R1000 fine each.

638 CELLPHONES UNCLAIMED

Since the traffic by-law came into effect in 2011 which prohibits the use of cellphones while driving, the city has issued fines to the value of R5.27 million. Of phones confiscated since then, 638 have not been reclaimed.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said there had been a reduction in the number of people using cellphones while driving since the city started confiscating cellphones. Some people were using hands-free devices, which are legal.

“There are, however, drivers who continue to ignore the by-law, hence the continued enforcement focus,” Smith said. - Cape Times


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