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MPs approve breathalyser legislation

Roadside checks: transport minister Walter Roban introduced legislation

Legislation to designate an official handheld breathalyser for roadside checkpoints has been approved by the House of Assembly.

Walter Roban, the transport minister, said that the change was needed to get legal approval for the use of handheld breath test machines.

The Road Traffic Amendment and Validation Bill 2018, which was unanimously approved by MPs, amended the 1947 Road Traffic Act to introduce orders to allow checkpoints to get under way.

Mr Roban explained on Friday: “Such orders are made for the purpose of approving various devices and instruments.

“Recently, it was determined that the procedure for making orders under section one of the principal Act is not specified.”

Leah Scott, the deputy Opposition leader, backed the legislation.

Ms Scott said that she had discussed the Bill with Mr Roban before it went to the House.

She added: “I understand that this will enable the police to use the new breathalyser.

“Hopefully, now we can get on with the road sobriety checks and start doing something about the carnage happening on our roads.”

Mr Roban said: “We had the support of the Opposition in the whole matter concerning roadside sobriety testing.

“It is appropriate that they support this measure ... which will allow for this activity to commence.”