Tackling drunk driving
SAB believes that targeted interventions focused on those drinking patterns that are associated with harm are the most effective ways to tackle alcohol abuse.
Research shows that effective enforcement and prosecution is critical in changing attitudes and behaviours among those who drink and drive. In South Africa, the rate of drunk driving is extremely high when compared to the global average.
To tackle the challenges of drunk driving SAB has invested in a number of initiatives.
In March 2013 the company in partnership with NICRO, the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders, launched a unique alcohol and road offences initiative to tackle the challenges of drunk driving at a range of levels.
The Road Offences Programme
The Road Offences Panel Programme,
piloted in and around Cape Town, is designed to have a positive influence on reducing drunk driving and keeping South Africans safe on the road. This joint venture is also expected to dramatically reduce the workload and lessen the burden on the formal criminal justice system.
The alcohol and road offences initiative allows suitable driving under the influence offenders who have been found guilty, and sentenced, to avoid going to prison. Instead of going to prison, they participate in this special educational, therapeutic programme and carry out their sentences in the community. Although the consequences of the drunken driving offence will not involve going to prison, such offenders will have a criminal record.
In addition to incorporating a powerful educational and awareness component, this needs-driven intervention also manages risks and addresses the behaviours that caused the drunk driving offence in the first place.
Alcohol Evidence Centres
SAB also supported law enforcement agencies by investing in the establishment of alcohol evidence centres
(AECs) in key metros and all nine provinces. The centres are expected to dramatically improve prosecution rates of those arrested for driving under the influence. To date, sixteen centres have been launched. Each of the AEC’s were fitted with equipment to accurately detect a driver's breath alcohol level with a single breath sample.
Following a Western Cape High Court ruling in September 2011 in which the use of the Dräger Alcotest and the evidence it generates was tested. SAB is been working with government to see to the re-introduction of breath testing to support the swift prosecution of Drunk Drivers with a new breath testing unit that has satisfied all the necessary regulatory requirements.