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Sierra Leone Police Introduces Breathalyzer To Clamp Down On Drunk Drivers

The Sierra Leone Police says it has introduced breathalyzer as a means of controlling drink driving, which it says is a major factor in high rates of road accidents in the country.

A breathalyzer is used to measure an estimate of blood alcohol content from a breath sample.

Traffic police officers will be equipped with the handheld device and they will be selecting drivers at random for testing, disclosed police spokesman, Superintendent Brima Kamara to AYV yesterday.

“One of the major causes of road accident is drink driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or under the influence of drugs,” Superintendent Kamara said in an interview on Tuesday.

“That’s why we are going scientific and coming up with breathalyzers,” he added.

Sierra Leone has one of the highest rates of deaths due to road accidents. Some 1,842 deaths were recorded for road traffic accidents in 2017, representing 2.25 percent of total deaths, data from the World Health Organization show.

In response to this, a similar operation by the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) was announced last month to impound all unlicensed vehicles in the country. The police say their own approach is meant to name and shame drivers who engage in this act, as a way of discouraging them from it.

Superintendent Kamara said culprits will be removed from their vehicles and charged to court accordingly, in the hope that the embarrassment will get others to think twice about committing similar offense.

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