In this file picture, a man holds a beer while driving. Picture: Dumisani Dube.
A Joburg motorist became the most drunk driver to be arrested in South Africa after being found 11 times over the legal limit at the weekend.

The man was arrested on Saturday and released on the same day and was expected to appear in court this week.

His arrest happened while about 800 drivers were arrested in Gauteng during the Easter holidays with 400 motorists caught for drinking and driving.

According to Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesperson Simon Zwane  at least 790 motorists were arrested on Monday morning.

“The person with the highest alcohol content was arrested on the M1 in Johannesburg and his reading was 2.64 milligrams per 1 000 millilitres,” said Zwane. The legal alcohol limit is a breath-alcohol content of 0.24 milligrams per 1 000 millilitres or a blood alcohol limit of 0.05 grams per 100 millilitres for an adult weighing 68kg.

The authorities staged 79 roadblocks on various routes in the province and issued about 69 000 traffic fines. Most fines were for speeding, driving without a licence, driving unlicensed vehicles, failure to wear safety belts and driving unroadworthy vehicles.

Zwane added that the death toll from the holiday weekend was still being calculated.

However, multiple accidents occurred across the country over the Easter weekend.

On Monday morning, 14 people were injured after the Quantum minibus they were travelling in rolled over on the M1 De Villiers Graaff Motorway at the Crown Interchange.

“Reports from the scene indicate the driver of a minibus taxi lost control, resulting in a rollover. Fourteen occupants of the taxi sustained injuries ranging from minor to moderate,” said Netcare 911 spokesperson Shawn Herbst.

All the patients were treated on the scene and transported by ambulance to hospital for further treatment.

On Sunday night, another 14 members of the Zion Christian Church who were returning from Easter ceremonies in Mpumalanga were injured when their Quantum minibus collided head-on with a BMW on the R50 near Delmas in Mpumalanga.

“Eighteen people, including one child, were treated for minor to moderate injuries before being transported to Bernice Samuel Hospital and another private hospital in the area. One person declined treatment and transportation,” said ER24 spokesperson Ross Campbell.

Campbell said the four people from the BMW were also injured.

The roads were extremely busy on Thursday and Friday when motorists set off on their long-distance trips. A total of 92 629 vehicles were recorded as having passed the toll gates on the N3 between Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday. A total of 51 647 vehicles were recorded on the N1 between Gauteng and Limpopo on the same day.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Blade Nzimande was on an education drive at the heavily congested N3 toll plaza in Mariannhill yesterday. He said that nationally, there had been a drop in crashes and fatalities.

“Ideally we would have liked not a single soul to be lost on our roads, but we are 41% down from last year, and I attribute that to police visibility,” he said.

Moving forward, Nzimande said his department would be recruiting 1 000 traffic officers because there was a correlation between police visibility and the number of crashes.

Nzimande also called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Bill, which would employ a demerit points system to identify habitual traffic offenders. 

 @Chulu_M