Drinkers hire drivers to avoid Alcoblow trap
To avoid paying a Sh10,000 fine or spending three months in jail, motorists are hiring drivers for as little as Sh500 to drive them past police roadblocks.
This is the latest ingenious way of ensuring that they don’t have to observe the legal drinking limit.
On an ordinary day, they will head to their favourite pubs and drink undisturbed by the knowledge that police have mounted roadblocks close-by.
After they have had their fill, they then log on to their Facebook accounts and from the Alcoblow Watch page, get the latest updates as well as directions to where they can get drivers.
This has meant booming business for the drivers who are often jobless youths. It is common on Lang’ata and Ngong roads during weekends or on nights when English Premier League teams play football.
“Vultures (police) at Sunshine. Get a driver between Wilson and Carnivore the stage,” wrote Bogi Benda on the Facebook page on Wednesday night.
“Just seen the police set up a trap near Nakumatt Junction. Get a driver at Dagoretti Corner,” read another post by Musa Mungai on the same night.
After driving for a short distance past the roadblocks, the steering wheel changes hands and the drinking drivers are left to drive themselves to their homes posing danger to other road users.
The young drivers are only too happy to make some money and the possibility of the motorists killing pedestrians a long the way does not concern them one bit.
On a good night they help several motorists escape the Alcoblow tests.
They say it is baffling that the police officers administering the tests are unable to detect their faces in spite of passing on the roadblocks on different cars on a single night.
One such driver who did not want to be identified said he had taken the test up to four times in one night.
“We are Kenyans like anyone else and I don’t think it is a crime to help a brother who is in need for a fee,” he said.
However Traffic Commandant Samuel Kimaru has given a stern warning to those offering such services. They will be arrested and charged with aiding a crime, he said.
“It is an offence to drive under the influence of alcohol and similarly it is also an offence to aid a drunk driver to commit a crime,” he added.
He is also on record warning that his department was monitoring the Alcoblow Watch page which has 18,000 followers to date.