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Carlisle scorns 'zero' booze test

2013-05-07 07:18

WHAT'S THE POINT? Western Cape MEC Robin Carlisle says zero-alcohol testing will be pointless because of the slow turnaround of state analysis services. Image: News24

Cape Town - Western Cape transport MEC Robin Carlisle has come out against a proposed national measure to impose a zero limit on drinking and driving.

The Cape Argus reported that Carlisle had written tonational transport minister Ben Martins to inform him of his concern.

He argued that the country did not have a structure to manage and enforce such a law because of the turnaround time for blood tests and the lack of breathalysing at national road blocks, except by Western Cape and metro traffic.


"Also, virtually all of the countries with the best safety records --Britain, France, Germany, the US and Australia -- have some sort of minimum legal alcohol level that can be tested for," he told the newspaper.

He reportedly proposed that more effort be put into improving the turnaround time for blood results at state laboratories and into behaviour-changing campaigns.

The Cape Argus reported that the national transport ministry recently put forward a case for lowering the legal blood-alcohol level to zero in a presentation to the inter-ministerial committee on substance abuse. The committee, headed by social development minister Bathabile Dlamini, reportedly agreed with and accepted the department's proposal.

Dlamini's spokeswoman was quoted as saying: "Most 'accidents' that occur in South Africa are alcohol-related and the inter-ministerial committee feels a zero tolerance approach would help to curb this scourge."

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