The viral video of a driver who allegedly caused an accident that claimed three lives at Kamakis on Sunday, October 30, sparked debate on whether the law was lenient on drunk driving.
The laws that govern road conduct are enshrined in the Traffic Act which provides for punishment of offences committed by a motorist using the road.
But what does the law prescribe in dealing with drunk driving, speeding and dangerous driving?
The Act recommends that any driver found guilty of drunk driving is liable to offences ranging from hefty fines to suspension of driving licenses for 12 months.
Wreckages left after Prado rams into matatu and tuk-tuk at Kamakis on Sunday, October 30, 2022.
“Any person, who when driving or attempting to drive or when in charge of a motor vehicle on a road is under the influence of drink or a drug to an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle,
“…shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both,” the Act reads in part.
However, the police officers at the scene must prove that the alcohol content in the driver’s system has surpassed the level recommended by the law.
The prescribed limits are less than 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath, 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, and 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.
In addition, any driver who causes death by dangerous driving is liable to a conviction of a maximum of not more than 10 years in prison. However, certain factors must be considered.
“…having regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the nature, condition and use of the road and the amount of traffic which is actually at the time or which might reasonably be expected to be on the road,” reads Section 46 of the Traffic Actin part.
In addition, there exist several loopholes that may allow such offenders to walk scot-free.
“A person shall not be convicted unless— (a) he was warned at the time the offence was committed that the question of prosecuting him for an offence under some one or other of the sections aforesaid would be considered;
“or (b) within 14 days of the commission of the offence a summons for the offence was served on him,” the Act reads.
Offenders are also to be served within 14 days, a notice of the intended prosecution, specifying the nature of the alleged offence and the time and place where it is alleged to have been committed.
Nonetheless, if the suspect is found to have intentionally frustrated the efforts of receiving the notices, then the matter shall proceed to court.
A erect a road block on a road in Nairobi
drug accident alcohol death drunk suspect