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Car can be seized if way over limit

By unknown | Jan 12, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Simon Nare

Simon Nare

Alleged drunk driver Judge Nkola Motata could lose his luxury Jaguar if it is found that his blood alcohol level was way over the legal limit.

A landmark judgment in the supreme court of appeal in Bloemfontein in November ruled that a motor vehicle driven by someone under the influence can be forfeited to the state.

The Eastern Cape high court had found that a motor vehicle was not an "instrument of the offences concerned" and denied orders being sought by the director of public prosecutions.

But, this was overturned by the appeals court.

Motata was arrested at the weekend for allegedly driving under the influence after his car had crashed into the wall of a house.

He is out on R1000 bail and will appear again in the Hillbrow magistrates' court on January 27.

The head of the asset forfeiture unit, Willie Hofmeyr, said if Motata is found to have been "way over the limit", his car could be seized.

"If the cops refer the case to us, we will look at it in terms of our guidelines and how good the evidence in the case is," he said.

"If he was seven times over the legal limit and the case is referred to us as a serious case by the cops, we will prosecute it, whether he is a judge or not.

"Even if a case involves a first offender who is so far over the limit, it's likely we will do it."

Hofmeyr said in most cases a car could be forfeited if the driver was more than three times over the limit.

But the unit is looking at cases where the driver is more than six times over the limit.

This was because of the lack of resources and the number of staff at the unit's disposal.

"We have to focus on the most serious cases. We are a small unit with a large number of cases," Hofmeyr said.

He said some of the guidelines the unit uses to evaluate cases were how far the driver was over the limit, previous convictions, and how dangerously the driver had been driving.


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