Umkomaas man denies charge of drunk driving

A man who had been arrested in Pelican Drive, New Haven on a charge of drunk driving, stood trial in Scottburgh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, August 7. The accused admitted that he had been drunk at the time of his arrest but denied that he had been driving.

He claimed that his vehicle was stationary on the side of the road with the engine switched off and the keys in the side pocket of the driver’s door, when the police arrived on the scene.

According to the testimony of the arresting officer and his driver, they had stopped their police vehicle to investigate a motor car parked in the centre of Pelican Drive, which was posing an obstruction to traffic.

They signaled to the driver to pull off the road, which he did, but the vehicle then swerved back onto the road, before coming to a standstill. On approaching the driver, who was still in the vehicle, the arresting officer stated that he could smell alcohol on the driver’s breath, and when asked to step out of the vehicle, the driver was unsteady on his feet, his speech was slurred and he became abusive.

This was corroborated by the second officer.

According to the accused, the police officers asked him to follow them to the Umkomaas Police Station in his vehicle, which he refused to do. A second police vehicle was then summoned to take him to the police station, and then to GJ Crookes Hospital where a blood sample was drawn for analysis.

A passenger in the accused’s vehicle, apparently slept through the entire incident and did not respond even when the arresting officer shone a torch into his face. It was assumed that he too was drunk.

A member of the accused’s family later took charge of the vehicle.

The trial will continue on August 25 to allow the accused to call witnesses for the defence

MSCRS Reporter

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