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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

KZN police don’t have blood alcohol kits to test drunken drivers at accident scenes

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Law enforcement in KwaZulu-Natal does not have blood alcohol test kits to test for drunken driving and they are still in the process of procuring the kits with the festive fast approaching.

Consequently, the police cannot test the sobriety of drivers at accident scenes.

Colonel Athlenda Mathe, a SAPS national spokesperson said: “SAPS has been informed that there is a global shortage of vials, which is a component of the test kit. The SAPS has met with the supplier responsible for delivering alcohol blood kits.

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“We are awaiting feedback regarding the progress and arrangements the supplier has made with the manufacturer.”

Mathe said the SAPS was working to ensure it had the necessary tools and resources to prevent, combat and investigate drunken driving cases.

“We sent out a tender about a month ago and we are waiting for feedback.”

Read also: ‘Drunk driver’ nabbed after crashing into roadblock killing a JMPD officer

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Opposition politicians in the province said it was concerning that alcohol blood kits were not ordered in time.

“Past incidents show that the police are unable to test the sobriety of the drivers, especially when people are killed. Not having these test kits shows that killers are allowed to walk free.

“The mayor and police minister need to tell us what the stumbling blocks are in terms of procurement of the kits, This alone shows that those that are in charge cannot manage the simplest of things,” said Visvin Reddy, leader of the African Democratic Change (ADeC).

DA caucus leader, Thabani Mthethwa said: “This is a reflection of everything gone wrong in the city. KZN is a tourism hot spot during the festive season.

“The procurement of the kits should have been a priority. How will police now reprimand those that drive under the influence? Our city will become lawless.”

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Mdu Nkosi of the IFP said the municipality had no systems in place to ensure things ran smoothly. “The municipal manager needs to put systems in place to resolve this matter.”

Layton Beard, the spokesperson for the Automobile Association, said: “KZN is one of the provinces with the highest number of accidents during the festive season.

“It is incredibly distressing that these kits are not available and it is going to exacerbate the issue of drunken driving.”

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