Authorities in the Western Cape have named the places where people drink, drive and get caught the most in the province, as well as some of the hefty penalties that some of these offenders have been dealt.
Topping the list of hot spots are Swellendam (163), Bellville (135) and Oudtshoorn (132), followed by Atlantis (69), Goodwood (68), Worcester (62), Wynberg (51) and Hermanus (47). The next highest were Mossel Bay (42), Bishop Lavis (36) and Bredasdorp (32).
Drivers were caught, charged and convicted of either driving “over the limit” (where driver was tested and found to be over the legal limit for blood alcohol) or driving “under the influence” (where the driver was convicted based on records showing him or her to be driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs – for example, eyewitness testimony or photographic evidence.)
NAMED AND SHAMED
After being sentenced in Western Cape criminal courts, their names were handed over to the provincial transport department for capture on the electronic eNatis database, and then Named and Shamed as part of the Cape Argus LeadSA campaign, and in partnership with the provincial transport ministry's Safely Home road-awareness campaign.
JAIL AND LONG LICENCE SUSPENSIONS
Of a total of 1 182 drivers:
-63 were sent straight to jail, without option of a fine, for between six months and three years.
-207 were disqualified from obtaining a learner’s or driving licence for between three months and eight years.
-35 had their licences suspended for two years, 32 for five years, 14 for 10 years, two for 20 years and one for a staggering 30 years – and a host of others for periods in between.
-The oldest convicted driver was 78, the youngest 20. Fifty-six drivers had no driving licences.
-240 drivers were between 20-30; 373 were between 31-40; 354 were aged 41-50 and 210 were aged 51-78.
The largest fines were R40 000, R28 000 and R24 000 – the lowest was R600. The average fine, for those not sent straight to jail, was R8435.
Transport MEC Robin Carlisle, pictured, said: “A trend that stands out for me is that 61.5 percent of all offenders, since we started, are aged between 31 and 50.
MEN THE WORST OFFENDERS
“We can’t provide exact results, as gender is not shown on our Name and Shame records, but surveying the first names of offenders indicates that 92 percent are men.
“To men out there aged 31-50, pasop if you’re thinking of drinking and driving. We are on to you.”
According to the Road Traffic Act, it is an offence to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05g or more per 100ml of blood.
“A blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.05g per 100ml blood does not provide immunity from prosecution; with adequate proof one can be found guilty of drunken driving,” says the national Arrive Alive campaign. -Cape Argus