The Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT), Uganda Police Force (UPF) and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) have agreed to reinstate the use of breathalyzers in a bid to reduce road accidents.
In 2020, the use of breathalyzers was banned so as to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“It is sad to note that since then, Uganda has registered an increase in the number of Road Traffic accidents, with 40% being fatal,” Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the Director General of Health Services at the Ministry of Health, says.
In a statement Saturday, the Ministry of Health says that the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT), Uganda Police Force (UPF) and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) have had detailed discussions regarding the use of breathalyzers to reduce Road Traffic Accidents caused by drivers under the influence of Alcohol, among others.”
“Ugandans are the leading alcohol consumers in Africa, and many individuals drive under the influence of alcohol. Accidents due to drunk driving can affect all road users, including children, pedestrians, and other drivers who are not drunk,” Dr. Mwebesa says, adding that following the significant reduction of COVID-19 cases, the MOH has evaluated the risk of getting COVID-19 through Breathalyzers and finds it very negligible.
Besides, the MOU says that the Police have confirmed that each client will use a separate, sealed, and disposable tube to blow through the Breathalyzer.
“It is against this background, therefore, that the MOH recommends the immediate reintroduction of breathalyzers to test alcohol levels consumed by motorists. This is a countermeasure against deaths due to road traffic accidents by drunk drivers,” Dr. Mwebesa said.
According to Dr. Mwebesa. the move is a countermeasure against deaths caused by road accidents caused by drunk motorists.