Police warn motorists who drink and drive

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Police in Ladysmith have warned motorists who drive while drinking that they will be arrested immediately.

The police warning comes after a passenger in a light motor vehicle died after his friend rammed his vehicle into a wall at the weekend.

The driver of the vehicle reportedly tried to escape police officers who were trying to arrest him.

Police said they tried to stop the 25-year-old motorist, who was spotted drinking from a bottle of liquor.

Police spokesman Captain Charmaine Struwig said members of the crime prevention unit were on patrol when they spotted three occupants in a car drinking liquor.

"When police tried to stop the vehicle, the driver sped off with the headlights switched off. He accelerated through a red traffic light and lost control of the vehicle.

"The car crashed into a wall and uprooted a tree."

Struwig said the driver then climbed out of the vehicle and tried to flee on foot.

"He was arrested and kept in police custody. One of the passengers in the vehicle was critically injured. The other passenger was slightly injured."

The driver faces charges of culpable homicide and driving while drunk. The crash victim, Sihle Makhathini, 26, died in hospital on Saturday, Struwig said.