Roadside sobriety testing paying off
Yearly road crash figures appear to have decreased as a result of breath-test checkpoints, national security minister Wayne Caines said on Friday in the House of Assembly.
The minister said the island had recorded 1,117 collisions so far this year, compared with 1,467 for the whole of last year and 1,249 for 2017. There have been six road deaths, down from 12 last year and 15 in 2017.
Mr Caines told the House of Assembly that roadside sobriety testing had helped improve public awareness and culture towards the dangers of drink-driving since their introduction last September. He said: “I am hopeful that the continuance of the roadside sobriety checkpoints will lead to a shift in Bermuda’s drink-driving culture.
“If the roadside sobriety checks initiative will stop just one person per weekend night from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, if the roadside sobriety checks will prevent one person from dying on our roads, I believe that it is worth the inconvenience and we will have made a difference.”
Mr Caines said that businesses had shown a “positive shift” in favour of the policy by offering free transport to customers, while late-night use of taxis had increased.
The minister said 153 people had been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in the first ten months of this year, including 28 at roadside checkpoints. The worst offender had 380 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, more than four times the legal limit of 80mg/100ml.
A breakdown of drink-drivers showed 133 were men and 20 were women; 110 were black, 25 white and 18 others; ages ranged from 19 to 71; 143 were Bermudian, one British and nine did not have their ethnicity recorded.
Mr Caines noted that 47 of the arrests came after collisions.
Breath-test checkpoints will be in place in Hamilton Parish, Smith’s, Devonshire, Pembroke, Paget, Warwick and Southampton next weekend.
• To read Wayne Caines’s ministerial statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”
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