, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 11 – The National Authority for the Campaign against Drugs and Alcohol Abuse (NACADA) has called for the return of alcoblows or any other tools which law enforcers could use to ensure Kenyans do not drink and drive during this festive season.
Chairman John Mututho said on Wednesday that it was unfortunate that traffic police officers do not currently have the means of testing the alcohol levels in drivers’ systems.
He argued that they should have drivers stand on one foot or walk in a straight line to ensure that they are not overly intoxicated even in the absence of alcoblows.
“The law is very clear that drink driving must be proven. But police officers will be doing much more than using the alcoblows. They will even check the fluids that you are carrying pretending to be mineral water when it is actually pure vodka,” he said.
“Nobody wants you in jail or at the morgue. It is even better to see you in January having come from Kamiti than to see you on the papers having died.”
The anti drugs chief also called for the use of sniffer dogs to check on motorists so as to make sure that they do not abuse narcotics.
He at the same time warned bar operators against allowing shoddy characters, who spike people’s drinks, into their premises.
Mututho said that most bar owners and attendants know who these individuals are and that it was necessary to keep them out of entertainment establishments.
He added that entertainment joints which are commonly known for the trend would be black listed and eventually shut down urging Kenyans to keep away from crowded entertainment joints.
“If you do not warn your people to guard this bad habit that is killing Kenyans every weekend, we will campaign in Parliament so that we have a law that will see your bars closed permanently,” he warned.
He also reminded Kenyans who wished to have their parties at home to get a permit from either police officers or the chief’s camp in their region so as to avoid getting into trouble with the law.
He however reminded them not to exceed their merry making past 11 pm as this was against the law.
Mututho was also quick to point out that this law had always been in existence and that NACADA would be there to make sure that it was adhered to this Christmas.
“It will just cost you about Sh500 or Sh1,000 to get this permit then you can have the party and dance your ‘mugithi’ the night away but at 11 pm that permit expires,” he said.
Mututho was speaking during the launch of this year’s ‘don’t drink and drive’ campaign in partnership with various alcohol manufacturers under the banner Responsible Alcohol Drinks Companies Association (RADCA).
RADCA Chairman Koen Morhuis urged Kenyans to have a designated driver when out drinking to avoid road accidents.
Mututho also noted that Kenyans consumed 70 to 75 percent of all the alcohol taken in East Africa and spend billions of Shillings annually on their favorite drink.
But he however painted a gleam picture of the consequences noting that about two Kenyans die every weekend as a result of drunken driving.