NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) now says it will continue to enforce the use of Alcoblow to arrest drunk drivers following a court ruling that dismissed a case that sought its suspension.
NTSA Director General Francis Meja said the ruling delivered on Friday by a three-judge bench did not suspend the breatherlizer rules, while accusing sections of the media of misinteprating it.
“NTSA informs members of the public that driving under the influence of alcohol is an offence and that the authortity will continue to execute its mandate so as to keep our roads safe,” Meja said.
In its ruling, the court of appeal upheld the High Court decision that dismissed the case filed to suspend the breathalyzer rules.
The court noted that the breathalyzer rules did not introduce any new offenses other than those in the Traffic Act.
“We find no merit in the appeal. The High Court did not error in denying the appellants the reliefs they sought in their petition dated February 28 2014,” the court of appeal ruled.
The case was filed in 2014 by the Managing Director of Reminisce Sports Bar Kariuki Ruitha who argued that police have been enforcing the breathalyser Rules in a manner degrading to the dignity, honor, and esteem of motorists who consume alcohol.
“As a result of the uncivilized and illegal enforcement of the unconstitutional breathalyser rules, Reminisce bar has lost over 80 per cent of its business as a result of which it has had to lay off 29 employees and 15 Artistes,” Ruitha said in his petition.
In its observation, the court of appeal however noted that there was need to amend the Traffic Act to realign it to the breathalyzer rules.
“Although the enforcement of the Traffic Breathylser Rules 2010 is part of the lawful duty of the police to detect crime, they were badly drafted and must give way to the Traffic Act,” the court ruling reads.