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19 arrested for drunk driving after fetes

By AZARD ALI Monday, January 23 2012

click on pic to zoom in
BLOW: A police officer instructs a motorist to blow into a breathalyser apparatus during a police exercise at the foot of  the San Fernando Hill, Circ...
BLOW: A police officer instructs a motorist to blow into a breathalyser apparatus during a police exercise at the foot of the San Fernando Hill, Circ...

POLICE officers armed with breathalysers were out in full force outside Carnival fetes over the weekend, arresting 19 persons for driving under the influence of alcohol.

They will all appear in the San Fernando Magistrates’ court today to answer the charge of being in control of a vehicle whilst their alcohol content exceeded the legal limit of 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath.

Two Carnival fetes targeted by police officers in the south were the “X-perience” all inclusive fete held on San Fernando Hill, and the “Aqua Soca” fete at Skinner Park. While two bus-loads of police officers guarded the party on the hill on Friday night which some 5,000 plus party-goers attended, a contingent of police officers waited along the roadway for the fete to end.

The police exercises were spearheaded by Senior Superintendent of Police, Deodath Dulalchan, and included Corporals Vijay Ramdhanie, Mc Intosh, PC Harripersad and WPC James.

The fete promoters provided parking at the foot of the hill and at about 3.50 am, motorists began leaving the venue, got into their cars and drove off. Police officers were waiting on both ends of the exists on Circular Road.

Several of the motorists were subjected to field sobriety tests, 16 of them failed and were taken to the San Fernando Police Station, where Ramdhanie, who is one of the officers trained and designated to conduct further tests, performed Evidential Road Breath tests.

One motorist had a reading of 107 microgrammes per 100 milliliters of breath. All 16 were charged under the Breathalyser Act and were granted their own bail of $15,000.

Yesterday morning at the “Aqua Soca” fete, a similar exercise was conducted outside Skinner Park, and according to the police report, three persons were charged. In an appeal to party-goers attending fetes, senior police officers said incidents of fatal accidents were high during the Carnival season and drivers should take along a designated driver.

The police report in respect of the Skinner Park exercise, stated that a motorist told police officers he had brought along a designated driver who they found asleep in the back seat of the car.

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