The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works has been given the green-light to reintroduce Evidentiary Breath Alcohol Testing (EBAT), commonly referred to as the “Dräger” breathalyser as from 1 August 2016.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has confirmed that the reintroduction can take place in August, and is to be piloted in the Western Cape.
This means that from 1 August, the breathalyser test will be admissible in court as evidence to convict drivers who are over driving the legal alcohol limit.
Donald Grant, MEC for Transport and Public Works, joins John Maytham on the line to talk about the device and its implications for drivers.
It's wonderful news and after long delays and lots of research...we've now hopefully got all our ducks in a row and we are good to go from 1 August.— Donald Grant, MEC for Transport and Public Works
The device has in the past been questioned for its scientific accuracy and Grant says that is why the process of reintroducing the Dräger has taken so long.
We believe it will pass muster, but we are expecting people to take us on in the courts. It is what it says - evidentiary breath testing. So people can use the reading to prosecute pretty soon after you are tested .— Donald Grant, MEC for Transport and Public Works
Samples will be tested at the Shadow Centre in Athlone, but it will be rolled out to other centres in the Western cape over as short a period of time as possible. They currently have one ready to go, but two more are in the process of being up and running.