Mon | Jul 16, 2018

Police on alert for drunk drivers

Published:Sunday | December 27, 2015 | 12:00 AM
FileThe Intoxilyzer 8000, or evidence breathalyser machine, which is used to verify alcohol levels after initial screening.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Calvin Allen, head of the Police Traffic Division, is warning drivers about drinking and driving, and driving above the speed limit this festive season.

According to SSP Allen, the Christmas season is the time of year when there is a major increase in road crashes, which results mainly from speeding and drunk driving.

In a recent interview, he said for this holiday season, police officers will be patrolling in various divisions of the island with portable breathalyser devices as part of a strategy to reduce road crashes.

He is warning drivers that if they are found to have a level of alcohol above the allowable limit, they will be taken to a police station where an Intoxilyzer 8000 machine will be used to generate a report for evidential purposes and an arrest made.

The National Road Safety Council (NRSC) supports this move by the Police Traffic Division.

According to Paula Fletcher, executive director, NRSC, the organisation is also gravely concerned about the major increase in crashes and fatalities which involve motorcycles since the start of 2015, especially in western Jamaica. Up to December 16, there were 103 motorbike fatalities islandwide, compared to 57 in 2014 and 51 in 2013.

"Statistics recorded since the start of the year have indicated that most of the motorbike fatalities occurred in the western end of the island. We care about the motorbike drivers in the parishes of Westmoreland, St James and Trelawny, who choose to speed and travel without wearing the proper safety gear, such as a helmet. It is for that reason and more that we partnered with Barry G on December 14 in hosting an outside broadcast at the Negril Police Station," Fletcher said in an interview recently.

Up to December 16, there were 349 deaths due to road crashes.