159 persons charged in 3 months for DUI

Within the last quarter of 2020, some 159 persons were charged for failing the breathalyser tests that were administered by the Guyana Police Force (GPF).
This data was released by Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn after Opposition Member of Parliament Geeta Chandan-Edmond asked for such to be provided during the budget debates.

Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn

Throughout this period, it was noted that 289 individuals were tested. Persons can be charged for drunk driving if, when tested, their blood alcohol content is found to exceed the prescribed limit of 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, and their blood alcohol concentration exceeds 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
Under the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, “A person shall not drive or attempt to drive or be in charge of a motor vehicle on the road or other public place if he has consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the proportion thereof in his breath or blood exceeds the prescribed limits.
If found in contradiction of such, they are convicted of two consecutive offences and can be disqualified for a period of one year from holding or obtaining a licence, or a longer period if the court sees fit for any special reason.
A third conviction for a similar offence shall see the person being permanently disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence.
Benn noted that breathalyser kits were provided to divisions across all regions except Regions One (Barima-Waini) and Eight (Potaro-Siparuni). These are yet to be supplied with the kits. When asked about the calibration of these testing kits, Benn said in his written response, “Breathalyser kits rely on their original equipment manufactured calibration.”
Only authorised officers are allowed to conduct these tests on civilians who are suspected to be driving under the influence of alcohol.
A few days ago, Benn had revealed that in the past three months serious crimes have reduced by 21.9 per cent. The Minister said 373 serious crimes were investigated and 267 prosecutions, in this regard, were undertaken.
However, when asked about the number of convictions broken down by the different types of crimes reported from August 2, 2020, to present, Minister Benn explained that “the number of convictions remain a work in progress awaiting judicial reviews”.
In the traffic department last year, acting Top Cop Nigel Hoppie had indicated that there was an increase of 21 per cent in fatal accidents. It shows that 120 accidents were recorded for 2020 when compared to 99 for 2019. There was a consequential 15 per cent increase in fatalities, showing 130 for 2020 compared with 113 for the previous year. (G12)