Breathalysers, popularly known as Alcoblow are set to be reintroduced on Kenyan roads after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2021 into law.
Under the new law, motorists found guilty of drunken driving risk a fine not exceeding 100,000 shillings, a two-year prison term, or both.
“A person who, when driving or attempting to drive, or in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place is under the influence of an alcoholic drink or a drug beyond the prescribed limits, shall be guilty of an offence,” it says.
Legislators passed the bill to amend the Traffic Act of 2013 before they adjourned to proceed on recess on June 9.
The new law is an improvement of another following a court directive that declared the use of the breathalyser illegal in 2017.
Police are now waiting for the law to be published in the Kenya gazette before enforcing it.
A breathalyser estimates the alcohol content in one’s blood from a breath sample.
No driver is allowed to handle a vehicle if they have consumed alcohol in excess of 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath, 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood and 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.
Per the breathalyser scale, a driver is given a clean bill of health to drive if their alcohol level ranges between zero and 0.29 on the calibrator.
Drivers of private vehicles are allowed 0.35 microgrammes maximum intoxication, while those operating public service vehicles are completely prohibited from taking liquor and their test result should be zero.