Thu Oct 20 21:54:29 SAST 2016

'You can't drink for over 500 days'

By unknown | May 07, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

A Newcastle magistrate has found a man guilty of drunk driving and banned him from consuming alcohol for 532 days.

The magistrate also on Monday fined Sanele Dladla, 24, R14000 or 28 months' imprisonment, half of which was suspended for five years.

Another motorist, Mesuli Nkabinde, 29, was fined R8000 or eight months' imprisonment, half of which was also suspended for five years.

Both men were arrested at a December holiday roadblock in Newcastle and have been out on bail since then.

Police in the area welcomed the sentences, saying they believed it was the first time that a motorist was banned from drinking by the courts.

Police spokesman Captain Shooz Magudulela said this should warn lawbreakers that they will be severely dealt with.

"People know that they're not allowed to drink and drive, but they still do it," Magudulela said.

"We will leave no stone unturned to catch those irresponsible motorists who think they can just do as they please on our roads.

"Motorists who drink and drive must know that they endanger their lives and those of other people."

Over the long weekend Newcastle police arrested more than 86 people on various charges, including driving while under the influence, Magudulela said.

Nonkululeko Mbatha, the provincial spokesman for the department of transport, applauded the court for handing out stiff sentences to both motorists.

"The two motorists should be thankful that the law took its course because they might have been dead or could even have killed innocent people on our roads," Mbatha said.

Heavier sentences would "save many lives", he said. "Many people perish unnecessarily because of people who drink and then drive in an intoxicated state."


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