‘Lawmakers considering lowering blood alcohol limit’

The RTMC is also looking at imposing a minimum two-year jail sentence for drunk driving.

FILE: According to the RTMC, alcohol abuse and speed have been are the two main contributing factors to road accidents in SA. Picture: ER24.

JOHANNESBURG - The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) says law makers are considering lowering the blood-alcohol limit to 0,02 grams per 100 millilitres.

It also says it's looking at imposing a minimum two-year jail sentence for drunk driving.

The current limit is 0,05 grams per 100 millilitres, but if government has its way, it could decrease all the way to zero.

The corporation's head Makhosini Msibi says a committee is reviewing legislation, with the aim of imposing harsher penalties

"[In] particular, schedule three offences that relate to the traffic offences, to be reclassified to schedule five. Key to it is also the minimum penalty that we are considering that people have commit, [like] driving under the influence of liquor, to a minimum sentence of two years."

The RTMC has released its annual report for the year 2014 to 2015, showing that more than 4,500 people died on South African roads.

Meanwhile, four years after a Western Cape court ruled that the Dräger Breathalyser test be suspended, authorities are now promising to reintroduce the equipment with better laws in place by November.

In 2011 an alleged drunk driver was acquitted in a landmark test case.

This resulted in court cases across the country being withdrawn, where evidence was obtained using the Dräger test.

The transport minister says final arrangements are now under way to make sure it can be used to conduct on-the-spot tests, on motorists suspected to be driving under the influence.