Nairobi News


NTSA pushing for stiffer penalties on motorists found guilty of drunk driving

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) is pushing for the enactment of traffic rules that will see motorists found guilty of drunk driving having their licenses suspended for six months.

In a draft of The Traffic (Drunk Driving) Rules, 2022, issued by Transport Cabinet Secretary, the Authority emphasis was on drivers of Public Service Vehicles (PSVs), commercial and school vehicles.

It also proposes that drivers of private vehicles to face a suspension of six months if they flout the rules.

In a draft of The Traffic (Drunk Driving) Rules, 2023, wants motorist caught driving under the influence to be slapped with a fine not exceeding Sh100,000 or a jail term not exceeding two years, or both.

“No person shall drive, attempt to drive or be in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place if the person has consumed alcohol in such quantity that the blood alcohol concentration in his body is beyond the prescribed limit,” part of the draft new rules reads.

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Breathalyzers have also proposed in the new rules if a driver is suspected to have used an alcoholic drink. On the other hand, the rules are seeking the hygiene of the breathalyzers to be maintained.

In the event a motorist declines to take a breathalyzer test, he or she will be deemed to be under the influence and penalized. Such motorists are liable to a fine not exceeding Sh100,000 or face a jail term not exceeding two years or both.

NTSA has also prescribed limit of alcohol for the PSV, commercial and school vehicle drivers should be 00 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath, blood and urine. This means any driver under the aforementioned is not to drink at all before driving.

The limit for private vehicle drivers is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood and 107 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine.

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NTSA further has further said police officers are permitted to ask drivers involved in accidents to provide specimens – breath, blood and urine – for alcohol tests.

“Alcohol test results that indicate a driver of a vehicle other than a has exceeded the prescribed limits shall be evidence for the purposes of sections 44(1) that the person is incapable of having proper control of a mechanically propelled vehicle,” NTSA said.

Section 44 (1) of the Traffic Act, states that first offenders are to face a fine not exceeding Sh10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months. Conviction has a fine not exceeding Sh20,000 or a jail term not exceeding six months or both.

Last year, at least 4,104 people died in road accidents according to NTSA. This was an increase from the 3,947 who perished in accidents in 2021, representing a four per cent increase.

NTSA said the deaths were caused by reckless driving, dangerous overtaking, drunk driving, drunk walking, drunk riding, and failure to use helmets among other issues.

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