Stricter controls on drunk driving

POSTED: 06/28/13 11:48 AM

St. Maarten – The Public Prosecutor’s Office continues next year with its policy that it will be informed about all traffic accidents that result in death or serious injuries. Enforcing traffic rules is an important element in the feeling of citizens that police and justice actually enforce the law, the office writes in its 2014 year plan. “For too long no reports were made about serious traffic violations and traffic crimes,” the report states.

St. Maarten still has no adequate legislation to enable the use of breathalyzers, the report states. This makes it also impossible to establish a maximum allowed blood-alcohol level for motorists.

Nevertheless the prosecutor’s office aims for a stricter enforcement of the ban on driving under the influence, based on current legislation.

For lack of breathalyzers, police will have to make do with the so-called dronkemans-test: erratic driving, impaired speech, bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol and the ability to walk a straight line or to stand on one leg are part of this test.

The prosecutor’s office says that breathalyzers are still useful in this process, “as an indicator for the amount of ingested alcohol in combination with extreme road-behavior.”

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