Nairobi News


Treat all drivers on drink driving charge equally

The crackdown on drink driving continued last weekend with police arresting dozens who had exceeded the alcohol limit.

According to Charles Kaitany, head of the police unit in charge of the campaign, several prominent Kenyans including a District Commissioner were among the latest casualties.

They were all forced to spend a cold night at Muthaiga police station before some were released on cash bail pending their appearance in court this morning.

Police were even forced to write to the Makadara Law Court recommending severe penalties against five prominent city lawyers who were arrested twice in as many days driving under the influence of alcohol.

The lawyers were first arrested on Friday night but were released after paying a cash bail of Sh20,000 each only for them to repeat the offence the next evening.

Since the campaign started in early December, the police have arrested and charged hundreds of motorists.

We have witnessed shocking scenes of clearly drunken motorists ramming vehicles parked by the roadside, even while their drivers waited to be tested for drink driving.

In most cases, those found to have broken the anti-drink driving law have been locked up, taken to court and fined.

We have however also seen cases where a number of prominent personalities, including two judges, have been stopped at roadblocks but let away scot free in spite of clearly being drunk.

A case in point was the arrest of a Supreme Court judge last December. The learned judge was sent on his way after he introduced himself to the officer in charge of the barricade on Lang’ata Road.

In the other case, a prominent High Court judge was allowed to drive away in spite of failing the Alcoblow test simply because of his privileged status.

Even a magistrate who was arrested and locked up with fellow drunkards after being caught driving under the influence of alcohol last month was accorded special treatment in court.

His case was heard in private at Makadara law courts, away from public glare.

It is this selective treatment of offenders that we must condemn and discourage. 

The Traffic Commandant himself, Samuel Kimaru, is on record assuring people that the campaign will be conducted without fear or favour. 

It is imperative that for it to succeed, all must be treated equally before the law.