The Road Traffic Management Corporation has noted with concern a video that has gone viral showing a traffic officer testing positive for alcohol consumption after eating a hot cross bun.
The Corporation would like to assure members of the public that they will not be arrested unfairly after eating hot cross buns.
The public should be aware that the device used is a screening instrument and the first results obtained from it have to be validated through further tests before an arrest can be made.
The purpose of alcohol testing device is to determine the driver’s blood alcohol concentration in the body specimen.The video shows mouth alcohol concentration which is not sufficient evidence to charge a motorist for drunken driving.
It is standard practise that an alleged drunken driver after blowing into the screener which the video shows and register a reading over the limit the alleged drunken driver will then be taken to an evidentiary breath alcohol tester (EBAT) which has equipment that is calibrated by National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA) for accuracy and the results is the only one to determine whether to effect an arrest or not. The EBAT machine require that an officer must take two breath samples with 15 to 20 minutes allowance between the tests.
The EBAT machine will record an error where mouth alcohol is detected. This will be the case with the video as shown where an officer immediately blew into the screener without waiting period. Where there is sufficient evidence from the EBAT machine to conclude that the alleged driver is intoxicated, the results of a test conducted on the EBAT machine will then be used for prosecution.
The validity and accuracy of the evidential breath alcohol tester, recently launched by the national Minister of Transport, is in no way affected by what is shown in the video.
It is regrettable that this video has surfaces and caused alarm at this critical period of the year when high traffic volumes and alcohol consumption are expected over the long weekend.
Any information obtained from an alcohol screener cannot be used in court for prosecution purposes other than it being used as a detection for alcohol consumption.
The RTMC wants to assure the public and the fraternity in its totality that there is no sinister motive to unfairly prosecute the public with an untested measuring instrument.
We hope that the concerned authority will take appropriate corrective action to prevent a repeat of a similar incident.