Minister issues stern warning to drunk drivers

Drunk drivers will face the full might of the law and could land up behind bars, acting transport minister Dikobe Benedict Martins said on Sunday.

"We are warning you, your days are numbered and it won't be long before your misbehaviour catches up with you," he said.

Data captured over the festive season indicated that high volumes of people were being arrested for drinking and driving.

"This has to be one of the highest forms of irresponsible behaviour by motorists," Martins said.

Earlier, Gauteng traffic police spokesperson Busaphi Nxumalo said 87 drunk drivers were arrested in the province between Friday and Sunday.

They would be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol when they appeared in various courts on Monday, she said.

Nxumalo said the operation to arrest drunk drivers was continuing.

Martins urged pedestrians not to drink and jaywalk. He said about 40% of the road deaths in the country each year were pedestrians.

He said people need to understand that they could be criminally prosecuted for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Martins said a court recently found that alcohol was a contributing factor in an accident in which five runners died when they were hit by a Midrand man. He has since been sentenced to 12 years in prison for culpable homicide.

"The convicted driver, who was said to be a successful engineer in court records, now faces a lengthy period behind bars away from his family and friends, a criminal record and living with the knowledge of having caused five deaths.

"Is it really worth it?" Martins asked. – Sapa

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