jmpd johannesburg crime stats

Photo: Twitter / David Thembe

JMPD credits new breathalyser for high conviction rate

The new EBAT system is being tested at roadblocks.

jmpd johannesburg crime stats

Photo: Twitter / David Thembe

According to the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), the launch of the Evidential Breathalyser Alcohol Test (EBAT) system has led to a high conviction rate. This occurred in cases where people were driving under the influence of alcohol.

Many of the fatal crashes on South African roads have been attributed to driving under the influence of alcohol. JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar revealed that the courts now had EBAT readings to use as evidence against drunken drivers without needing blood samples.

EBAT system leads to a high JMPD conviction rate

The Angolan Police Delegation seeing EBAT demonstrations at roadblocks for October Transport Month. Photo: Twitter/@AsktheChiefJMPD

Minnaar added:

“We have been using this since December and we have arrested well over 1 000 drunk drivers. The conviction rate is very high because drunken drivers now appear in court within three months of the date of the arrest.”

Wayne Minnaar, Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) spokesperson

Since October is Transport Month, the JMPD has made sure that the new EBAT system is tested and used at roadblocks.

When the system was first used

The system was first implemented in the Western Cape in 2016. However, it’s since been refined and is used to combat drunk driving by providing immediate and accurate information on a driver’s intoxication level.

How the EBAT system works

According to BusinessTech, the system works thus:

  • The EBAT system uses a machine that can read the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath
  • When tested, two breath samples must be taken. If the lower of the two EBAT test results is not less than 0,24 mg of alcohol per 1,000 ml of breath, the driver will be charged
  • The instrument is fitted with a temperature sensor in the hose to regulate the exhaling breath of the subject
  • It is called “evidentiary” because the reading can be produced as evidence to prosecute people accused of drinking and driving and the results are immediate
  • The machine, the people who operate it, and the location it operates in, must all pass a very specific set of tests in order to be used to prosecute suspects

According to the minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande, EBAT mobile offices were rolled out at the beginning of the Easter holidays this year, for the road safety initiative, until the end of October.