Thursday, April 18, 2024

Trinidad and Tobago clamping down on beer drivers

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Port of Spain – Trini males who habitually drive with a beer in one hand and their other hand on the wheel will face a hefty $5 000 fine and six months jail, once the new Motor Vehicle Bill becomes law.

Once you break that cork, you are breaking the law.

The bill, which was debated in the Senate yesterday, makes it an offence for a “person to drive or operate a motor vehicle while having in the cabin area…an opened bottle, container or vessel with any alcoholic beverage”.

“You see persons driving down the road with a beer in they hand …We are eliminating that. If you want to go and enjoy yuhself, you park up your car and do what yuh have to do and get somebody else to drive you home or go with somebody else,” Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz warned as he piloted the Motor Vehicle Bill in the Senate.

He explained that in the “chartered buses” or the “party” or “fete” bus that goes on excursions, there will be a demarcation line beyond which there would be no alcohol.

Cadiz said there would also be a zero tolerance policy for public vehicles and vehicles for hire, whereby these drivers must have zero alcohol in their system – “breath alcohol concentration must not exceed zero microgrammes” – once the bill becomes law.

“Whether you are driving a PTSC bus, a government-owned vehicle or a taxi for hire….You must be stone cold sober,” Cadiz said.

New drivers must also have a “zero blood alcohol level,” he added.

Able-bodied persons who park in spaces designated for the differently-abled in supermarkets, pharmacies and other public places would also be fined up to $5 000.

“So your groceries will no longer cost you (just) $500 (if you park in these parking spots),” Cadiz warned.

All passengers – no longer just the driver and front passenger – will have to use seatbelts under the new law. (Trinidad Express)

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