In a bid to reduce SA’s road death toll of 14 000 a year, the Department of Transport has brought in a new evidential breath alcohol testing machine, piloted in the Western Cape and launched in Pietermaritzburg last week.

The department has worked closely with the NPA to ensure that the device provides watertight evidence against drunk drivers, notes the Sunday Times, which says the next step is a national rollout.

A 2011 judgment in the Western Cape High Court placed the accuracy of the previous Dräger device under scrutiny and it was withdrawn.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation said the new device gives an immediate, accurate reading of the alcohol level in a driver’s blood stream.

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande said the new technology would eliminate long delays – sometimes up to six months – in waiting for blood test results before a driver faces prosecution.

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