'Durban cops do have booze test kits'

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IOL Mot pic dec30 kzn nite roadblock

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eThekwini metro police officers man a night roadblock in KwaMashu. Picture: Marilyn Bernard

All equipment necessary for blood alcohol testing is in stock at the various alcohol testing centres across Durban, and drunk drivers are being stopped and charged.

This is according to Innocent Chamane, metro police support services head responsible for the procurement of equipment, in the wake of a Sunday Tribune report alleging that senior eThekwini metro police officers forgot to order vital equipment needed for blood alcohol testing.

Talking to the Daily News on Sunday, Chamane said, “Blood bottles are a stock item and if there was a delay, it was on the material management division side.”

“These are stupid allegations.”

Chamane said at least 20 boxes of blood bottles had been ordered and were available at all alcohol testing centres a week before Christmas.

Meanwhile, metro police spokesman, Senior Superintendent Eugene Msomi, said he understood there had been a delay in receiving the equipment, but he did not know the reason for this delay.

“I understand there was an incident at a roadblock where a commander expressed there was a shortage of equipment, but as far as I’m aware, the issue has been resolved.”

He said all stock was centralised and that a shortage of equipment at one alcohol centre would mean others were affected as well.

“At the end of every festive season we have an assessment and look at every aspect,” said Msomi, when asked if the matter would be investigated.

TARGETING DRUNK DRIVERS

Drunk drivers have been targeted in a joint operation by metro police and the South African Police Service as part of the festive-season plans to keep motorists safe on Kwa-Zulu-Natal roads.

Msomi said there had been about 200 people arrested for drunk driving since the beginning of December, with many apprehended at roadblocks at hotspot areas, including the beachfront, uMlazi, KwaMashu and Durban North.

“The intention was to have roadblocks every day in December, although some days we have not had because of rain.

“There will be more roadblocks on New Year’s Eve, with more than 500 metro police deployed to cover all areas.”

in 2012 the Daily News reported that nearly 800 people were arrested for drunk driving in December.

Msomi attributed the decrease in numbers to people being more educated about drunk driving, as well as the fear of being arrested.

“We have been in talks with Saps to keep people caught for drunk driving in cells until their court appearance. We would prefer for people to spend time in cells than be given police bail.” - Daily News


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