New blood alcohol test means drunk drivers can be arrested immediately

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba recently launched the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department’s (JMPD’s) Evidential Breath Alcotest Machine (EBAT).

The EBAT gives a print out of the driver’s alcohol level after a test is conducted, which removes the need to conduct a physical blood test.

The EBAT test result is provided to the driver and the investigating officer, which makes immediate arrests possible.

The results are printed out on thermal paper which lasts around seven years to limit any legal problems.

This new alcohol level testing machine, Mashaba said, will help to drunken drivers to court and potentially increase prosecutions.

This is hoped to deter people from driving drunk which will reduce road fatalities, especially over the festive season.

Drunk driving convictions will increase

Former deputy director for road safety management at the Department of Transport, David Frost is confident the results will stand up in court.

He explained that strict standards are adhered to with the new EBAT system, which is needed for a conviction in court.

He said the fact that the test results are certifiable and signed by the drunk driver and two witnesses will be a big help to ensure successful drunk driving prosecutions.

“The length that the state has gone to ensure that the results are beyond question can ensure convictions of drunk drivers,” said Frost.

Now read: Drunk drivers beware – 7 days in jail before your bail hearing

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New blood alcohol test means drunk drivers can be arrested immediately