File picture: Cara Viereckl / Independent Media.
Cape Town - A combined alcohol blitz by Western Cape provincial traffic police this weekend saw a total of 2233 vehicles stopped, with police making 17 arrests for drunk-driving offences and two arrests for false driving licences. 

Western Cape traffic police issued a total of 220 fines with a monetary value of R28 971.

Vehicles were stopped throughout the province, from Plettenberg Bay to Cape Town along the N7 and N2 motorways.

Provincial traffic boss Kenny Africa said that motorists needed to urgently change their attitude towards drunk driving.

“People still think they can get away with drunk driving. If a person wants to take a chance to drink and drive we will arrest them. The fact that we got 17 drunk drivers off the road means we saved lives,” Africa said.

During the course of the weekend’s blitz, traffic officers stopped a vehicle carrying 8632 kilograms of illegally-sourced abalone, which has an estimated street value of R4.3 million.

Africa said that the four recorded fatalities on Western Cape roads this weekend was below average, but warned that a lot could change (before this morning).

R500 000 in cash found in Durban

Meanwhile, a routine vehicle stop at a roadblock in Durban yielded more than police bargained for when they discovered a reported R500 000 cash in the luxury car of an alleged drunk driver.

The 30-year-old man’s BMW SUV was stopped at a roadblock on the M41 between uMhlanga and Durban North on Friday night.

Haden Searles, chairman of the Durban North and uMhlanga community policing forum, said the SAPS and Metro Police operation involved CPF members and private security companies.

“One of the metro cops noticed that the licence disc was different to the number plate,” said Searles.

The personalised plates were also found to be invalid.

With suspicions roused, they searched the vehicle, only to find the cash stashed in the cubbyhole. Neither Searles nor police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane could confirm the amount, but Durban North police spokesperson Captain Raymond Deokaran told community newspaper, the Northglen News, it was R500 000.

“The man claimed he won the money at the (horse) races. That needs to be verified by police,” said Searles.

A firearm was also found in the vehicle. Searles said the man did not have a licence for the gun, however it was still to be determined if this was merely not on his person or in the car, or if it did not exist.

Zwane said this was subject to confirmation in an inquiry opened by police.

No charges or inquiry were registered in relation to the money, and the man was out on R1000 bail for the drunk driving charge.

Triple the legal limit

More than 20 other drivers were pulled off the road for drunk driving, one with triple the legal blood alcohol limit.

“One drunk driver stopped could mean a family saved. There are so many road crashes caused by drunk drivers, who most of the time walk away without a scratch,” said Searles.

He said the large number of drunk drivers arrested was unacceptable and motorists should know better than to get drunk behind the wheel of a car.

The CPF had noticed a downturn in vehicle thefts in uMhlanga and Durban North, which they believed was due to their routine roadblocks on residential roads.

“There have been stolen vehicles recovered, firearms and housebreaking implements found. They are really yielding results,” said Searles.

Cape Times & The Mercury