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Drinking & Driving Banned in Sierra Leone

By Abdul Hassan Fackie (pictured)
Freetown, Sierra Leone.

In a bid to tackle the high incidence of drivers driving under the influence of alcohol and dangerous drugs which normally cause them to drive dangerously and and eventually cause accidents, the Sierra Leone Police has introduced the use of breathalyzers on the country's roads.

In an exclusive interview with 40 Acres Canada, Police Spokesman, Superintendent Brima Kamara stated that one of the major factors of the high rate of accidents in our roads is drivers driving under the influence of alcohol and dangerous drugs. 

"Most times when drivers get drunk and sit behind the wheel they easily loose control of their vehicles and end up causing accidents which normally result in the loss of human lives and the destruction of properties," he revealed.

He disclosed that Police Officers are now been trained in the use of the hand held gadgets and deployed nationwide with instructions to halt drivers and riders at random and let them breathe into the device to get samples of their breathes for testing.

He further explained that the breathalyzer will show the amount of alcohol in the blood of a driver which will indicate the level of his or her drunkenness and lack of control and either suitability or unsuitability to drive a motor car, or ride a motor bike or a bicycle.

He disclosed that if the breathalyzer establishes that a driver or rider is above the normal level of alcohol in his or her blood stream, he or she will be immediately arrested and charged to Court.

Majority of Sierra Leoneans 40 Acres Canada spoke to welcomed the initiative, but were quick to express fear that most Police Officers might use this measure to ask for bribes and let offenders go free.

When 40 Acres Canada told Superintendent Brima Kamara that critics say they fear that most Police Officers will compromise the findings of the breathe tests and ask for bribes, he said that they will monitor their activities and any Police Officer caught in any corrupt practice will be dealt with according to law.

Sierra Leone annually records a very high rate of deaths due to road accidents, normally close to two thousand deaths yearly, representing about 2.25 percent of total deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.