Uganda: Kawunyemu – Police Drink-Driving Operations to Resume

Police are set to resume drink-driving operations around the country as one of the ways to curb the number of accidents on Ugandan roads, especially caused by drunk drivers.

According to the Director General of Health Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr.Henry Mwebesa, a meeting they had with the Ministry of Works and Transport, Uganda Police and UNRA recommended the resumption of the drink-driving operations owing to a surge in road accidents, many of which are caused by drunk-drivers.

“Ugandans are the leading alcohol consumers in Africa and many individuals drive under the influence of alcohol. You will recall, due to COVID-19 in 2020, MOH advised against the use of breathalyzers, for fear of spreading Covid-19 in the process. It is sad to note that since then, Uganda has registered an increase in the number of road traffic accidents with 40% being fatal. Accidents due to drunk driving can affect all road users including children, pedestrians and other drivers who are not drunk,” Dr. Mwebesa said.

He noted that following the significant reduction in Covid cases, the Ministry of Health has evaluated the risk of getting COVID-19 through breathalyzers and finds it negligible.

“Besides, Uganda Police has has confirmed that each client will use a separate, sealed and disposable tube to blow through the breathalyzer. It is against this background therefore, that Ministry of Health recommends immediate re- introduction of breathalyzers to test alcohol levels consumed by motorists.”

” This is a countermeasure against deaths due to road traffic accidents by drunk drivers. However, the public is strongly advised not to drive after alcohol consumption and to cooperate with the Uganda Police Force.”

In the past, a number of accidents have been caused by drunk drivers.

For example, in May, a speeding Mercedes Benz driver suspected to have been under the influence of alcohol lost control of the vehicle and knocked stationary road barriers in an accident that happened at around 1:26am on Friday at the Acacia-Kayunga road junction in Kampala.

The vehicle would later hit three street children who had sought shelter near the barriers.

The flying Mercedes Benz continued with its trajectory and collided with a white Toyota Mark X which was approaching from Acacia.

Following the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, police on the advice of the Ministry of Health halted drink-driving operations for fear of the spread of the virus.


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