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Roadside testing plan ‘being worked on’

Efforts to implement roadside sobriety testing and checkpoints are still under way, according to the minister of transport, Senator Michael Fahy.

In response to shadow transport minister Lawrence Scott calling on the Bermuda Government to put the measures in place before Cup Match, Mr Fahy told The Royal Gazette that he is continuing to meet with stakeholders to try and move the necessary legislation forward.

“I am working on it,” he said, adding that he met with the Bermuda Road Safety Council on Monday and would be meeting with CADA this week as well as the Bermuda Police Service next week.

Mr Fahy added that although there are still “some suggestions about constitutional issues” regarding roadside sobriety testing and checkpoints, work continues to overcome these.

He said Mr Scott “is well aware of this”, having spoken with the Road Safety Council at the former Minister's invitation, and said he was disappointed that the topic was being used for “political point-scoring”.

Speaking in the House of Assembly on Friday, Mr Scott urged the Government to introduce roadside sobriety testing and checkpoints before Cup Match, when there is a “traditional, historic, statistical spike in road traffic accidents, motoring incidents and drunk-driving”.

“We cannot afford to go into another major holiday without having roadside sobriety checkpoints in place.

“This Government needs to bring roadside sobriety checkpoints to fruition prior to the Cup Match holiday.”

Mr Scott said former transport minister Shawn Crockwell had “gone on record saying that the Government was going to bring roadside sobriety testing and road side sobriety checkpoints this year”. He added that other former ministers, as well as the Bermuda Road Safety Council, had thrown their weight behind the issue without results.

“I understand that there were some challenges but they should be overcome. It's not a constitutional issue — that's what some people want you to believe that it is a constitutional issue.”

Although Shawn Crockwell, the former minister of transport, encouraged Mr Scott to keep pressing the issue, he also insisted that there were still constitutional issues that needed to be overcome.

“There have been multiple previous ministers on both sides of the aisle that attempted to implement roadside sobriety testing and there is some disagreement within the attorney-general's chambers and the DPP's [Director of Public Prosecutions] office in relation to some constitutional issues and the implementation of it,” he said.

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Published June 08, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 08, 2016 at 8:08 am)

Roadside testing plan ‘being worked on’

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