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For the year thus far, officers of the Traffic Branch have already arrested 543 persons for driving under the influence.

This was revealed yesterday by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kissoon Badloo, and Road Safety Project Coordinator Brent Batson, during the weekly press briefing at the police administration building along Edward Street, Port of Spain.

At the time, the two officers were supported by public information officer for the TTPS, ASP Michael Jackman.

However, with Christmas approaching, drivers are being once again reminded not to drink and drive, as they could face hefty fines, and even a term of imprisonment, if they do.

“Whereas we recognise this season is also associated with many persons indulging in festive behaviours including alcohol consumption, drivers are warned that section 70(a). of the Motor Vehicles & Road Traffic Act Chapter 48:50, provides that a driver being found with a breath alcohol level in excess of prescribed legal limit of 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, can be subjected to hefty fines of up to $12,000 or 3 years imprisonment for a first offence, $22,500 or five years imprisonment for a second offence and permanent driving disqualification for a third offence. Drivers are reminded that alcohol impairs both judgement and coordination skills which are essential elements to operate a motor vehicle safely,” Badloo stated.

It has been noted that the Traffic and Highway Patrol Units would be out in full force for the next week weeks, and have already commenced a series of strategic enforcement exercises targeting persons who drive under the influence, speed, and use their mobile phones while driving.

The ASP told the media that officers have been instructed to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to breaches of traffic violations, and that in the coming days, joint exercises with the Licensing Authority are also planned to deal with violations associated with commercial vehicles including overloading, excessive projections and violations of route permits.

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