A startled motorist looks at a man apparently passed out inside his car, a beer in his hand, in St Johns Avenue, Pinetown, on Monday afternoon. The picture was taken by a driver who tried in vain to get a man who was driving a police vehicle to help.

The Durban police would not pursue criminal charges against a motorist who apparently fell asleep behind the wheel of his car, with a beer in his hand, at a busy Pinetown intersection this week, spokesman Vincent Mdunge said yesterday.

“It is too late,” Mdunge said. “There is nothing we can do. Blood samples were not taken and the case would be hard to prove in court.”

A member of the public, Wesley Adams, saw the drunk driver stopped at the intersection of St John’s Avenue and Shepstone Road.

He appeared to have fallen asleep while waiting for the lights to change.

Adams flagged down a passing police car and asked the plainclothes policeman for assistance. They drove to the scene together, but the policeman did not arrest the driver.

When the car began rolling into oncoming traffic, Adams said, he jumped in and pulled up the handbrake.

The driver woke up and, seeing what was happening, drove off. What outraged Adams was that the policeman did not give chase.


However, the whole incident was filmed by Adams on his cellphone and he posted it on the internet.


Yesterday Mdunge defended the police, saying he had checked with 10111 officials and the Pinetown police station “to verify the legitimacy of the complaint”.

Mdunge said the man, who identified himself as a policeman to Adams and was photographed by him, was not known to the local police.

“We want to place it on record that the alleged crime scene is only about 2km from the police station (Pinetown) which means there could have been an easy way of attending to the complaint,” Mdunge said. “You cannot ask a stranger on the road to help you and then say he is a cop.”

The driver apparently spoke briefly on a local radio station yesterday.

However, when the same man was contacted by The Mercury, he nervously denied being the driver or making the call. -The Mercury