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Alcoblow offenders on the rise despite crackdown

The number of offenders nabbed on city roads since the reintroduction of the breathalysers continues to rise, with city motorists indifferent to the crackdown on drunk driving.

So far,  200 offenders have been arrested and arraigned in court for drunk driving .

Statistics from the Traffic Department indicate that Langata Road, Westlands and Eastlands remain hotspots for drunk driving in Nairobi.

Famous hangout spots along Langata Road include Carnivore Restaurant and Deep West, while for Westlands Njugunas, Pizza Place and Changes are the most frequented joints.

Eastlands is known for its numerous mini pubs, some of which operate on pedestrian paths in the estates.

The offence for drunk driving carries a maximum fine of Sh 100,000 or a jail term not exceeding two years.

As at January 15, Sh1, 975,000 was collected in fines from cases presented in court and cash bail charges from the culprits.

The breathalysers, commonly known as alcoblow, are high tech devices that are used to detect alcohol levels in drivers on the roads. 

Last week, Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau reiterated that motorists should not drive vehicles after consuming alcohol past specified levels.

“I want to emphasize that drunk driving will not be tolerated on our roads,” he said, adding that this should not be mistaken to mean that people should not make merry.

According to Mr Kamau, a designated driver or taxi should be sought in instances where one feels they are too drunk to drive.

The law requires that no driver should handle a motor vehicle if he or she has consumed alcohol in excess of 35 microgrammes in 100 milliliters of blood.

At the time of the reintroduction of the alcoblow on December 16, the Ministry had a meager 4 gadgets and was expecting 10 by close of the year.

City residents had questioned how efficiently the 14 gadgets would serve Nairobians given that there are several major roads that need to be served.

Currently there are six operational breathlisers, two of which were donated last week by a UK based company called Pottermark Enterprise Technical.

Mr Kamau said 16 more breathlysers are expected to come on board on Tuesday and the ministry hopes to have procured an estimated 50 gadgets by the end of February.