Wednesday 14 April 2021
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Time for drunk drivers to sober up

On the eve of the festive period, the Windhoek City Police is pushing for tougher punitive measures for those arrested for drinking and driving.
The municipal police’s Public and Community relations, Constable Fabian Amukwelele warned vehicle drivers to avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol, saying that the police will severely punish those caught drunk while operating a vehicle on the public roads.
Amukwelele took issue with the “don’t care” attitude of motorists during the festive period.
He cautioned drivers who consume alcohol beyond the legal limit that they are not only putting their lives in danger, but risking the lives of other road users.
“When putting those keys in the ignition and driving away after drinking you are not only putting your life at risk, but you are endangering the lives of all those you come across while driving,” Amukwelele said.
He further warned that the drivers who will be suspected driving over the legal alcohol limit of 0.079g/100ml will be arrested and punished, saying that all drivers, whether they consumed alcohol or not will be tested with a breathalyzer. The City Police Constable revealed that any driver who will be tested positive will be taken into custody and sent for further testing at an alcohol testing center, adding that at the hospital, a registered nurse will take the culprits’ blood sample which will be securely stored and transported by the police for further investigation.
Amukwelele further added that the offence of drinking and driving is punishable by law and they will ensure to set an example and to discourage drivers from causing accidents on the public roads, warning drivers to stay away from alcohol in order to reduce accidents on the Namibian roads. He said that drivers who will be arrested while intoxicated will be taken to the police station, detained in the holding cells for at least 6 hours to sober up, cautioning them that on the busy nights and weekends, an arrested driver can be detained for longer before documents are processed and released.
Amukwelele also added that the bail amount of driving under the influence of alcohol is N$4000 and drunk driver’s vehicles will be taken to the police station and car keys will be held and only be returned to the owner after the processes is done and bail money has been paid.
In regards to those who will be arrested with their children in the car, Amukwelele said that police officers will try to protect the minors from experiencing the ordeal as so “not to expose them to the trauma of experiencing the arrest”. “It’s about time people to take responsibility for their own actions”, he added.
In regards to theft during holidays, Amukwelele emphasised that the Windhoek City police is going to make sure that there will be enough members of the police to fight crimes in the city, arresting every perpetrators that are going to commit offences and robberies.
The police will capacitate the officers who will be in control room monitoring CCTV cameras 24/7, he said.
Amukwelele encouraged members of the public to create WhatsApp groups in their respective streets and be in communicable with each other by reporting whenever they spotted someone and something suspicious. He also revealed that during December school holidays, the police will be conducting regular checks up, doing randomly alcohol testing, saying that anyone that will be arrested during the festive season can only be processed and released in January next year. He said that the police have both the mandate and power to follow the element on arresting perpetrators; however, they don’t have the power to punish culprits legally, saying that it is the duty of the legal system to make sure justice is served for those who suffered at the hands of the perpetrators.
Amukwelele requested members of the public to always present sufficient evidence which can be used by the legal system to punish those who committed atrocities and wrongdoings. He called for the stakeholders of city police, Namibian police and ministry of justice to come together to hold perpetrators accountable for their offences.
He added that they need to identify the loopholes in the legal system and nullifying it.
Amukwelele concluded that the intervention to the aforementioned problems does not rest in the hands of law enforcement agencies. The responsibility remains with “each and every person to make mindful choice not to drink and drive. There is always a better option. Keep the roadways safe along with your loved ones and the loved ones of others by not drinking and driving.”

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