Motorists will be subjected to breathalyser— Alcoblow— tests after the government acquired the devices to tackle drunk driving and curb road accidents during the festive season.
Transport and Infrastructure secretary Michael Kamau said the high-tech gadgets which have been undergoing tests since last Friday in Nairobi would be unleashed on drivers immediately.
“Motorists found driving while drunk will be arrested and prosecuted. Their vehicles will also be towed to the nearest police stations,” said Mr Kamau.
The breathalysers were first introduced through legal notice number 138 of October 2011, but were withdrawn after motorists raised concerns over hygiene and spread of diseases.
Mr Kamau said officers using the breathalysers would now use disposable mouth pieces from mobile offices which will be set up across the country.
The gadgets were acquired at a cost of Sh740,000.
The law requires that no driver should handle a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol in excess of 35 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath, 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood and 107 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine.
Those flouting the rules risk being fined Sh100,000 and a two-year jail term. Between January to date, 5,939 road accidents have been recorded with 3,018 lives lost.
“The number of lives lost include 1,402 pedestrians, 758 passengers, 309 motorists, 272 drivers, 150 tuk tuk passengers and 127 pedal cyclists,” he said.
Mr Kamau said most of the accidents arose from disregard of traffic laws including speeding, overloading and dangerous driving.
Mr Kamau said a random check conducted on Langata Road, Waiyaki Way and Argwings Kodhek Road in Nairobi found that 45 out of 50 drivers were drunk.
Mr Kamau also said that phase two of safety first campaign which started last month will run till January 30 next year.
“The safety first campaigns are intended to monitor compliance with traffic laws particularly speeding,” the cabinet secretary said. He said that 4,300 motorists found to have violated the authorised speed limit have been prosecuted and the campaign would ensure that justice on traffic offenders is delivered on the spot.
Mr Kamau added that the National Transport and Safety Authority is developing a curriculum for drivers training and testing that will be ready by January next year. “The curriculum will help in addressing the problem of quality drivers we currently have in the country,” he said.