Bar owners continue fight to outlaw Alcoblow
03 March 2014, 17:53
Nairobi - A bar owner has moved to court to challenge the use of
breathylsers by traffic police on drunk drivers on the roads.
In the petition filed by the Nairobi based bar owner, it is argued that the sheer act of consuming alcohol has been
made a traffic offence irrespective of whether it has intoxicated the driver or
rendered him unable of having proper control of the vehicle.
While the new breathalyser rules are meant to help in
curbing road accidents, it is alleged that the rule allow apparent
permission of consuming alcohol provided it does not exceed the prescribed
“The breathalyser rule empowers a police officer to require a
driver to subject himself to a breath test in the absence of a reasonable cause
to suspect that the said driver has committed a traffic offence, the
enforcement of the breathalyser in Kenya is so crude that no other democracy
that uses it would approve the way it is being used in Kenya,” said Mr Kariuki
The petitioners allege that in Section 45 of the Traffic
Act, drivers of public service vehicles are absolutely prohibited from drinking
any intoxicating liquor whilst Rule 3(1) redefines the offence to allow such
drivers to consume intoxicating liquor provided that it does not exceed the
It is further alleged that the breathalyser rules are
contradicting and that the Transport Cabinet Secretary has no powers under the
Traffic Act to create, define or redefine new or existing traffic offences.
The bar owner claims that since late December, last year,
breathylser rules have been enforced in a manner that has adversely affected
bar owners businesses and violated their rights and fundamental freedoms.
The bar owner also claims that the use of police road blocks
erected outside entertainment facilities and gates of middle class estates to
enforce the impugned rules is demeaning, dishonorable, cruel and degrading to
motorists whose lifestyles embrace social drinking.
They are seeking an order to prohibiting Parliament, the
National and County Governments or other State organs from enacting or making
any legislation or rule that presumes Kenyans have no freedom to choose their
preferred lifestyles in determining how much alcohol a Kenyan can lawfully
The Transport Cabinet Secretary, the Inspector General of
Police, the Director of Public Prosecution, the National Transport and Safety
Authority and the Attorney General as the respondents in the suit filed by
Kinoti and Kibe Advocates.
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