On Wednesday we joined the service on AZ Berman Drive in Mitchells Plain where the roadblock procedure was turned on its head - the usual procedure is licensing checks during daylight hours and breath tests at night, but this roadblock was used to educate motorists on the dangers of drinking and driving.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security and social services JP Smith said it was shocking how people can be drunk as early as 6am.
“We decided to change the routine because we noticed that people don’t drink and drive over the weekend only; traffic officers netted more than 20 drivers during the week .
“The arrests formed part of the random breath-testing project currently under way. One of those arrested had a reading of 0.64mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, which is nearly three times the legal limit.”
A man was also arrested on Wednesday with a blood alcohol reading nearly four times the legal limit.
Other motorists were pleased that drunk drivers were being targeted.
“I need to impress upon members of the public that the effects of the night before linger far longer than many might imagine," Smith said. "If you’ve had a hard night of drinking, rather steer clear of driving for a while longer to avoid the situation that these motorists were caught in.
“In the morning, some drivers are still affected by the significant alcohol consumed the night before. It is also worth noting that roadblocks are no longer middle-of-the-night occurrences but happen around the clock and you can be caught at any time.
“So, if you’ve been drinking, don’t drive for at least 12 to 24 hours after,” Smith said.
Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said the newly introduced system had been productive.
“We have introduced a new system, random breath testing, for the first time in South Africa and saw the fruitful results in the Overberg where it was launched, and we are hoping to extend it to the rest of the province,” he said.