Use Of Ungazetted Breathalyzer Leads To Acquittal

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FRANCISTOWN: The police have bungled a case in which they used an un-gazetted breathalyzer to test the breath of a person who they suspected was driving a motor vehicle while the amount of alcohol in his breath exceeded the prescribed limit.

This scenario emerged in a matter in which Freeman Mapukule had taken the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to clarify two critical issues around the use of breathalysers within the context of the Road Traffic Act (Cap 69:01) of the Laws of Botswana. Giving judgement in the matter, Justice Lot Moroka said the first issue concerns the types of breathalyzers permissible under the Road Traffic Act in Botswana while the second is concerned with the law on the offence of Refusal/Failure to Provide a Specimen of Breath Contrary to Section 47 (5) of the Road Traffic Act.

“In this case, the Appellant was arrested by the Selibe-Phikwe police following an accident in which the motor vehicle he was driving collided with an electric pole and fence after he lost control of the motor vehicle. The police who attended to the accident formed the opinion that he was driving whilst under the influence of alcohol and asked him to accompany them to the police station for testing his breath for alcohol level. The accused agreed and upon arrival at the police station, the Appellant was duly warned that he was required to provide a specimen of breath into an alcometer referred to by the Police officers who gave evidence at trial as Intoximeter EC/IR serial number 012623,” said Moroka.

Editor's Comment
Happy Independence!

We are 56 years old and what do we have to show for it? Looking at where Botswana started and where it is today, there are a lot of developments, but whether the developments match the number of years we have enjoyed as a country is a topic for another day.The fact that cannot be denied is we have seen major developments, but we are still lacking in several pertinent areas.Our beautiful country imports almost everything. We import fuel, food,...

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