Local drivers toast Kenya drunk driving verdict

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THE Kenyan court ruling, stating that drunk driving is not an offence as long as the driver is in control of the vehicle, has excited Zambian motorists. 

Zambian motorists interviewed have advised Zambian government to take a leaf from the Kenyan ruling.

 Commuters Rights Association of Zambia (CRAZ) national president Aaron Kamuti told the Suin in an interview the Kenyan ruling is an excellent move, stating that the only time motorists should be convicted is when they endanger other road users’ lives.

Mr Kamuti said there is nothing wrong if one is driving while drunk as long as one is observing traffic rules. 

“The only time you can be convicted is when you commit an offence or driving in a manner that is endangering the lives of other road users,” he said.

Mr. Kamuti advised the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) not to take to task those that are drunk but observing traffic rules; adding that they should only advise them accordingly.

He was happy that the Kenyan court ruled in favour of the drunk motorist, adding that such rulings should appeal to the Zambian laws.

But Traffic Officer Command Senior Superintendent, Yoram Phiri said according to the Zambian Road Traffic Act, it is an offence for a motorist to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol whether or not they have committed an offence.

Mr Phiri said Section 157 of the Road Traffic Act No. 11 of 2002 provides that when one is driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, one is regarded unfit to drive.

“For me it is an offence and the offender is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding 20,000 penalty units or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or both. 

“Any road inspector or uniformed police officer may arrest without a warrant any person committing or reasonably suspected of committing an offence under this section,” he said.

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