Drivers traveling during the holiday season can expect traffic police to use old-fashioned tests to identify drunk drivers – which may involve a driver walking down the road or standing on one leg for a few seconds to check for signs of intoxication.
This is according to a Sunday Times report, who quoted transport officials in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, where new cases of KOVID-19 have risen in recent weeks.
These provinces have suspended the use of breathalyzers to measure the level of intoxication as a means of preventing the spread of the virus.
Cape Town’s head of safety and security, Richard Bosman, told the Sunday Times that it was a challenge for the city’s traffic officials to identify drunk drivers.
“Unfortunately, there is no alternative to the speed and efficiency of mobile screening devices and proof-of-breath equipment, so staff members have reverted to old methods until new reporting,” Bosman said.
He added that although these new methods were time-consuming and inconvenient, police officers made a significant number of arrests.
Officers were also able to record videos of suspected drunk drivers to gather evidence in court cases.
However, according to the provincial traffic police spokesman, Selo Maremane, alcoholics are used.
“All alcoholics are deleted before use. “The headphones that drivers use for blowing are always sealed and only opened by the drivers themselves to make sure they do not pose a risk to their health and safety,” Maremane told the Sunday Times.
Emergency measures in the Western and Eastern Cape come at a time of expected flooding of South Africans to the largest seaside resorts in December.
President Cyril Ramafoza recently announced tighter level 1 lock regulation for one such destination – Nelson Mandela Bay.
“There is now clear evidence of recurrence of infections in parts of our country, which, if not dealt with decisively and directly, could lead to great suffering and death,” Ramafosa told the nation.
“We have seen many countries around the world experience coronavirus recovery, some with a second wave even worse than the original peak,” Ramafosa said.
He noted other regions where there is a risk of COVID-19 being revived: the Sarah Baartman area in the Eastern Cape and the Garden Ruth area in the Western Cape.
“In line with our differentiated approach to pandemic management, we will therefore take additional measures in those areas identified as foci of corovavirus,” he said.
“At alert level 1, we have the necessary measures to control the virus – all measures are in place – but the main problem is that there are parts of the country where people do not respect the restrictions,” Ramafosa said.
As part of declaring Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality a hotbed, the following restrictions will apply in the region:
- The curfew is from 22:00 to 04:00. No person should be outside their place of residence, except in emergencies and basic workers who are allowed to work during these hours.
- The sale of alcohol from points of sale is not allowed from 10:00 to 18:00 from Monday to Thursday.
- Alcohol consumption in public places is strictly forbidden. Ramafosa said this is necessary to prevent large social gatherings in places such as beaches and parks.
- No more than 100 people are allowed to attend the gatherings for indoor events and 250 for outdoor venues. At any time, the number of people at the gathering must not exceed 50% of the payload at the venue.
- All gatherings after the funeral are forbidden.