Kralendijk- In the month of August 2018, the Dutch Caribbean Police Force, in collaboration with the BES Public Prosecution Service, will starts with alcohol checks in traffic.
KPCN will start this action, first on Bonaire, with the intention to make citizens aware of their responsibility in traffic. According to the Police Force, officers regularly stop drivers who are driving under influence. There have also been indications in various traffic accidents that driving was under influence.
KPCN has purchased a breath test device that can show whether alcohol has been consumed. Depending on the result of this test, further research will be carried out by means of a breathalyzer. The device measures the alcohol percentage (UGL) in the exhaled air.
Representatives of the Public Prosecution Service will be present during the inspections. In case values measured exceed the permitted values,the driver will be fined and, if applicable, arrests will be made for disenchantment. Driving bans can also be imposed.
The Police in a press release pointed out that cooperation is mandatory. Critics of the new measure however point out that current traffic laws do not allow for this type of test to be conducted, and that drivers can actually refuse to cooperate. They also point out that there are no officially established limits as of yet just how much alcohol someone is allowed and still drive.
Representatives of law enforcement organizations on the island find it difficult to imagine that anyone can be against strict alcohol controls in traffic.