Alcohol Breathalysers (Pty) Ltd, the company that owns www.breathalysers.co.za, works with many organisations, public and private to promote safer driving and healthy work environments. Alcohol Breathalysers attends road shows and takes part in other public conventions.
Respond to Our Alcohol Consumption Survey during the month of June 2017 and Stand a Chance to Win One of Two Cash Prizes of R2,500
By Angus MacArthur, Director at Alcohol Breathalysers (Pty) Ltd - 6 June 2017
According to the World Health Organisation, in 2016 South Africa’s alcohol consumption was 19th position globally and 3rd in Africa.
The truth is, South Africa is a drinking nation and a clear understanding of the evolving relationship between human beings and alcohol is lost to many businesses and organisations in South Africa.
At Alcohol Breathalysers (Pty) Ltd, we are very interested to know how road users relate to alcohol, how they consume alcohol and how they think it relates to road safety. Therefore, we have put together a simple survey asking for your opinions, thoughts and comments on alcohol, its consumption and how it is linked to road safety.
Through participating in this brief online survey (about 10 minutes), we hope to better understand how you relate to alcohol, and we hope that you will get a better understanding of 'units of alcohol' and stand a chance to win one of two cash prizes of R2,500 each.
So please go ahead and participate in our survey, share your thoughts, and you could win R2,500 cash!
Key Words: Alcohol Awareness Survey, Alcohol Survey, Breathalyser, Breathalyzer, Alcohol and Road Safety
Be The Boss. Avoid Christmas Party Tragedy.
By Angus MacArthur, Director at Alcohol Breathalysers (Pty) Ltd - 1 December 2016
It is customary for organisations to host end of year functions (aka Christmas parties) at this time, celebrating the year that is about to end and herald the December holidays. At these parties, typically inordinate amounts of employer-sponsored alcohol is available, most of the times to the detriment of employees who may then drive while under the influence of alcohol after the event. Many employers provide their employees with alcohol at these events and do not assume an obligation to ensure employees’ post-event safety. This corporate behaviour may probably only end when an employee falls victim to their own drink-driving, or worse, when an employee dies or causes the death of other innocent road users as a result of drink-driving after such a party. Employers would probably pay attention then, and yet there are a range of solutions they can apply to prevent such tragedy.
Here are four solutions for you to consider:
1. Encourage car-pooling with sober designated drivers
The old school way to avoid drink-driving is to have a sober designated driver. Most work places have at least a couple of teetotallers who do not indulge in alcohol and these make the best sober designated drivers – provided that they have valid drivers’ licences and road-worthy licenced vehicles available.
Before the end of year party commences, sober designated drivers would have to be appointed and their car pool would have to be identified Example: Angus and Siya are riding with Jennifer in her Toyota Fortuner Reg. No, and so on. Avoid overloading. This process must include adequate planning and mapping of routes to ensure efficiency in pick-ups and drop-offs.
2. Book Uber, Taxify, GoodFellas, Zebra Cabs or another Chauffeur Drive Services for your staff
You can arrange or book safe rides with transport apps like Uber, Taxify, Zebra Cabs, Goodfellas and other Chauffeur Drive Services. Operating throughout the night, these transport Apps and Services are the most convenient way to avoid drunk driving. Arrangements can be made with Uber for a business account and from one account, request a number of rides. The other option would be to give vouchers, which can be organised with Uber, and these can be redeemed within employee’s personal Uber accounts.
With Uber’s new scheduling feature, employees can schedule rides, consume alcohol and at the set time, head straight to the meeting point and be taken home. During scheduling, people add addresses so even if they are inebriated at the departure time, the Uber driver will know where to go. This is genius! Other lift apps like Taxify and Zebra Cabs are equally convenient and work more or less the same way - ascertain your location, enter destination address and request a ride. No cash has to exchange hands although if one prefers to pay cash, that is also possible.
3. Provide breathalysers for your staff to use at your events
An effective way to ensure the safety of your employees is to make available breathalysers for their own personal use. Breathalysers help us figure out our average blood alcohol concentration at any given time when a breath alcohol reading is taken and informs of us of where we stand in terms of legal driving limits or work-place limits. After this, we then have to make sound decisions on whether to drive or not or work or not. So in essence, breathalysers empower us to make informed decisions before we decide to drive. The safest rule when it comes to drinking alcohol however is to never drive directly after drinking any amount of alcohol.
The greatest advantage of availing breathalysers for employees to use at parties in social settings is that they provide knowledge that will benefit employees beyond the event. Effective breathalyser use prerequisites people to understand drink-driving limits in terms of regulations and road safety. This creation of awareness is beneficial and can be shared with others too, meaning increased awareness during a party and after a party.
You can avail personal breathalysers for self-testing: either single-use disposable units or multiple-use electronic Law-Enforcement Grade devices. Employees can be trained prior to the event about drink driving regulations and breathalyser use to ensure that they have the capacity to use the devices effectively. Another option would be to hire an events service where a qualified and Competent Breathalyser Operator sets up and mans a heavy duty multiple-use Law-Enforcement breathalyser that everyone can be tested with. The Competent Breathalyser Operator would facilitate the breathalyser testing, making recommendations based on alcohol levels.
4. Abstain and have a Booze Free Party this year
This may be frowned upon by your staff who normally anticipate end of year parties to be alcohol fuelled, but abstinence is always the best way to stay safe and keep everyone safe. Perhaps throw a booze free party and donate the money that would have been spent on alcohol to South Africans Against Drunk Driving NPO or Pebbles Project NPO as a Christmas gift. There’s a chance your employees may not agree or be happy with your decision but by encouraging safe sober partying, driving and work places you are instilling.
Key Words: Be The Boss, Avoid Christmas Party Tragedy, Breathalyzer, Breathalysers, Alcohol Testing, Alcoscan, Road Safety, Arrive Alive
You can help drunk drivers to stop driving drunk!
By Angus MacArthur, Director at Alcohol Breathalysers Pty Ltd - 28 July 2016
Drunk driving is a universal challenge that results in the deaths of tens of thousands of people every year. It’s almost impossible to completely measure the cost of this loss to families, businesses and economies. Many of us never really understand this loss until we experience the death of a loved one or have a close encounter with losing our own life. It is then, that we truly appreciate that the highest cost is in fact, the loss of lives.
One of the most effective ways to help reduce drunk driving is to target and educate those who drink alcohol to help them understand the effects of alcohol. From how alcohol affects our natural ability to see clearly, judge distance correctly and react quickly.
We all need to understand the basic rules when it comes to alcohol and our bodies. For example, the more alcohol we consume in a short period of time, the higher the blood alcohol concentration will be. This means the alcohol will remain in the blood stream much longer, and therefore, more severe implications on our ability to drive properly. For the many of us who fail to understand how alcohol affects our bodies, and continue to drink and drive, the consequences are death – our own and/ or those of other road users. It’s only a matter of time.
When we have alcohol in our blood, alcohol is released into the breath which is exhaled from the lungs. Alcohol testers, commonly known as breathalysers, test the exhaled breath to gauge just how much alcohol is present in the breath. The higher the breath alcohol concentration, the higher the amount of alcohol present in the body. This means a greater effect on our driving ability and a higher risk of road crashes.
Breathalysers help road users understand whether or not they are safe to drive. They provide a clear indicator of one’s breath alcohol content immediately. In a sense, they empower us to make the right decisions when it comes to road use after drinking. We as humans however cannot make the right decisions without knowing what alcohol does to our bodies, and the legalities that come with drunk driving. To this end, any responsible government, business or family would support the use of breathalysers as a means to ensure that drivers take the right precautions before they take to the road.
Key Words: Drunk Driving, Breathalyzer, Alcohol Testing, Alcoscan, Road Safety, Arrive Alive
Alcohol Testing - A Health and Safety Measure which benefits all of us
By Angus MacArthur, GM at Alcohol Breathalysers (Pty) Ltd - 17 November 2014
Over R240 billion equivalent to 10% of the country’s GDP is the amount of money the country loses due to alcohol abuse annually. This is according to a study carried out by the South African Medical Journal in 2009. This enormous figure represents the estimate sum of all the different dimensions through which alcohol abuse deducts from us. From workplace incidents that cost and maim lives, to absenteeism, fraudulent leave and reduced productivity. Yet even with this mammoth loss, most employees would gladly not take any alcohol and illicit substance tests in their places of work.
The amount of money that alcohol and substance abuse costs South African businesses and their respective employees is huge and could otherwise have been better spent. Over and above this R240 billion loss, the emotional scars that alcohol imprints on families and loved ones are even more horrific. Breadwinners and spouses die or get maimed as a result of the effects of alcohol abuse in the workplace on a daily to weekly basis. For this reason alone one would expect that the behavior of employees would change.
In South Africa employees are the primary beneficiaries of legislation that provides for health and safety standards in the workplace. The Law that governs general workplace safety is the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993 (OHSA) and in the Mining Industry, safety is governed by the Mine Health and Safety Act. Although the OHSA was poorly written and has often been misinterpreted, it is the Law that we have to work with and it has been in effect for over two decades.
The OHSA directs how safety is enforced and over time, as with all legislation, the act has been amended to suit the needs of evolving workplaces. In short, its objective is to “provide for the health and safety of persons at work.” The act empowers employers to formulate policies that will ensure that employees work in safe conditions that do not threaten their health in any way. These policies are the available instruments that all employees should be able to openly discuss with their employers on a continuous basis. The policies may deal with and include issues like substance abuse, alcohol testing, safety resources, training and frameworks for action in response to substance abuse, intervention and counselling.
Whoever the employer is in whatever industry, the company policies relating to health and safety must always have the same goal – to create a safe and healthy work place. Whatever the situation, the welfare of employees is of paramount importance and how an employer and employee interact, negotiate and agree on policies can ultimately make the difference between life and death. Through it all, the policies of companies and the legislation it is formulated under and a number of constitutional statutes all have to be observed faultlessly.
Some company policies provide for voluntary alcohol testing, while other companies test all employees entering their place of work. In industries which include mining, manufacturing plants that use heavy machinery, maritime and the transport space, alcohol testing is often mandatory. As a prerequisite to the operation of machinery, all employees must be sober and tested. For these industries testing is usually done at the entry point at the mine shaft or plant or factory using an automated AlcoScan Entrance Breathalyzer System (EBS).
AlcoScan Entrance Breathalyzer Systems can be connected to turnstiles where a biometric scanner, data logger and a camera can work hand in hand to identify an employee, capture a test result and log it against their record in the time and attendance database. If the EBS detects alcohol in your breath, you are automatically prevented from entering the premises. From this point, the company policies will then direct proceedings, whether it calls for a second confirmatory test or suspends the employee for the day without payment or calls for disciplinary action. In all instances, there is a zero tolerance of alcohol which when defied will be met with stringent disciplinary action as being under the influence of alcohol in the work place will threaten the lives of others as well as of that individual.
An innovative method to curb alcohol consumption within the workplace is to also ensure that employees are tested on their way out of the company premises. There have been a number of instances I have dealt with where employees have passed the breathalyser test when entering, but have then consumed alcohol during the day and beer cans have been found within the operating environment. Generally when employees leave work, there are no measures put in place to detect if there is alcohol in their breath. Testing for alcohol on the way out ensures that those that smuggle alcohol into premises are dealt with to preserve the safety of others. The barrier of outbound testing using the very same EBS used for inbound testing acts as a deterrent for all those who think they will be able to consume alcohol on site and get away with it.
For the transport industry, companies can opt for a breathalyzer to be installed for drivers to test before they start the vehicle. These Alco-Interlocks are connected to the ignition such that the vehicle will only start when the breathalyzer registers a pass confirming no alcohol has been detected in the breath. These breathalyzers may also be connected to a remote logging system and database that registers the test against the driver’s name. Together with the breathalyzer in the truck, a camera and ID tagging system can be installed to ensure that the test result registered is for the correct individual and not a passenger.
The importance of training and education about substance and alcohol abuse in the workplace cannot be emphasized enough. Unless adequate training and education is performed about substance abuse and why being under the influence of alcohol should never be mixed with heavy machines, employees will continue to operate vehicles and machines under the influence of alcohol.
It is also important to note that alcohol abuse puts more than just one person at risk. In a work environment, alcohol abuse affects a cluster, a department and the entire company negatively. An inebriated crane operator could make one wrong move due to impaired judgment as a result of being under the influence of alcohol and it can result in the maiming or death of team members he or she may be working with. A prime example: the recent and untimely death of Total CEO Christophe de Margerie by plane crash in Moscow was reportedly blamed on a drunk snow plough operator.
Misfortunes resulting from alcohol abuse and misuse do not distinguish who is affected and can cost the life of anyone from the ground up to the CEO. Therefore, it is imperative to keep in mind that alcohol abuse and misuse in the workplace is nothing less than a deathly wish that can be completely averted. If not for families and loved ones, then for the good of the business and ultimately the economy of our country.
Key Words: Breathalyzer, Breathalyser, Alcohol Testing, Drug Testing, Substance Abuse
Alcohol Breathalysers Press Release - The battle with booze!
The battle with booze!
George Michael, David Hasselhoff, Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson, Amy Winehouse and even our very own legendary singer PJ Powers – all high-profile stars, all thrust into the public eye by their battles with booze. But don’t let the veneer of glamour fool you - living it up like a celebrity might sound like fun, but there are serious consequences to abusing alcohol, especially when it comes to performing at work, building your career, being a good parent and driving responsibly.
One only has to look at the Internet and celebrity magazines to read countless cautionary tales of great stars fighting their personal battles with alcohol. The newspaper headlines tell us about musicians, sportsmen, radio and TV stars – our role models, getting caught out at road blocks for drinking and driving but the stories only provide a tiny glimpse into a global battle against alcohol abuse.
According to a study by the Medical Research Council Led by Dr Charles Parry conducted in conjunction with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africans consume over five billion litres of alcohol a year – and not all of it over the weekend. Drinking is not only an after-hours activity but a practice that is taking place each and every day of the week. The phenomenon of motorists drinking and driving kills thousands of people on our roads each year and costs our economy billions of Rands!
The statistics speak for themselves:
• Six out of ten drivers that die in road accidents had dangerously high blood alcohol levels.
• It is estimated that between 57% and 60% of drivers killed in South Africa every year lose their lives directly or indirectly relating to alcohol.
• When you’re driving at night, one out of every seven drivers sharing the road with you is drunk.
• Just one drink doubles your chances of causing an accident.
• It is estimated that alcohol abuse costs South African companies R20 billion in lost productivity each year.
Angus MacArthur of Alcohol Breathalysers (Pty) Ltd, supporting the initiatives of Arrive Alive, says the battle against booze can be won with the help of private business and celebrities. Businesses can enforce zero tolerance of alcohol in the workplace. Restaurant and pub owners can put in place measures to ensure that their patrons do not drive their vehicles when over the legal limit.
To set a good example our celebrities and stars can lead the way and ensure that when they drive home late at night after glitzy events where more alcohol is served than entertainment that they are safe to drive. They can easily check that they are below the legal alcohol limit of 0.05% BAC by using their own breathalyser and take a taxi home if they need to. Knowing your status before you get behind the wheel of your car could mean that you don’t end up all over the front pages of the morning papers let alone all over the road.
There are a number of key benefits of testing your own alcohol level:
• Improve safety. The risk of being involved in an alcohol-related accident is significantly reduced when you are aware of the level of alcohol present in your body.
• Maintain your career and reputation. Alcohol users at work are said to be as much as 33% less productive often due to tardiness and illness. A happy, healthy and sober employee is a far better ambassador for a company during and after office hours.
• Increase your productivity and performance. High alcohol consumption impairs the body’s natural ability to perform optimally and thus by checking that you are not under the influence of alcohol before entering your workplace will mean higher productivity and better performance.
• Save your money. Both in the costs of dealing with an alcohol-related accident as well as the money you’ll save on bail, bribes and especially legal costs when you get charged with drunk driving and decide to take the state to the High Court.
Knowing your own alcohol limit can save you your life, your family's life, your reputation, your job - be there for your friends and family - take a stand against drunk driving!
The message is clear - Don’t be a statistic! Beat the battle with booze!
Alcohol Breathalysers Press Release - April 2011:
Just Blow and You'll Know!
Johannesburg, South Africa. 7 April 2011 --- The simple act of blowing into a breathalyzer will improve safety for the lives of many South Africans. Within the work environment and out on the roads, blowing into your own breathalyser or that of the company will reduce the risk of alcohol related accidents occurring.
According to WHO’s report for 2010, 4% of deaths globally are alcohol related – that is more than the deaths from HIV, AIDS, Tuberculosis or violent crime. The Global Report on Alcohol and Health states that an estimated 2,5 million deaths occur annually from alcohol related causes. This is an alarming figure in a world where the life expectancy has decreased greatly over the past decade. Alcohol related deaths vary from driving under the influence of alcohol, alcohol induced violence and inebriated pedestrians walking into roads to accidents occurring whilst operating heavy machinery under the influence of alcohol.
Angus MacArthur, General Manager of Alcohol Breathalysers (Pty) Ltd says: “It is essential that the welfare of employees be a top priority in every work place in South Africa because safe and healthy employees are productive employees. Companies need to enforce Zero Tolerance of alcohol to ensure that the work environment is safe for all employees.”
Alcohol Breathalysers (Pty) Ltd brings to the market a unique product called the Entrance Breathalyser System (EBS). The unit integrates seamlessly with turn-styles, mag-lock controlled gates and can be placed at virtually any secure entrance point of a business ensuring that as employees arrive at work, they are tested. MacArthur explains further: “Each and every employee entering your site is required to blow into the EBS and the result given is either a PASS or a FAIL. The PASS allows access through the entrance and a FAIL prevents access. When connected to an access control system it can notify security and set off an alarm”.
Given the number of accidents and possible deaths that the Entrance Breathalyser System may prevent in the workplace – EBS machines should be standard features in industrial environments as smoke detectors are in buildings.
Although there has been a lot of progress by South African companies in enforcing Zero Tolerance of alcohol in the workplace through policies, procedures and enforcement, when it comes to road users there are still thousands of motorists driving over the legal alcohol limit of 0.05% BAC each and every day. It is essential that motorists are educated about the risks that they pose to themselves and other road users by driving whilst over the legal limit.Use a breathalyser and you will begin to understand your own alcohol limit and therefore know when to avoid driving if you have exceeded the legal limit.Just Blow and You’ll Know!
Alcohol Breathalysers Press Release - August 2010:
Demerit Point System will change the face of traffic law enforcement – and everyone better behave
The government may keep postponing the implementation of the demerit system, but the reality is that motorists are one day going to have to accept this system. Once the demerit system has been implemented, you can expect things to change drastically with traffic law enforcement. First, traffic fine dodgers will have nowhere to hide, and second, we might actually find that our roads will be much safer if international research is anything to go by.
The success of the Demerit Point System has been documented in countries such as Spain, where the system came into force in 2006. The percentage of casualties had decreased by 11% in the first two years of its implementation.
The new system could be an effective tool to curb dangerous behaviour such as driving under the influence of alcohol,” says Angus MacArthur, General Manager of Alcohol Breathalysers & www.breathalysers.co.za , the leading supplier of affordable re-usable breathalysers in South Africa. Drivers who get caught will receive up to twelve demerit points. “If you get 12 demerit points, your driver’s license will be suspended and if your license is suspended three times, it will be revoked. If the prospect of jail does not scare you in the least bit, consider having to re-apply for a driver’s license – with all the long queues and red tape,” says MacArthur.
The government might also consider a double-point demerit system for holiday seasons. This could be an effective road safety approach, as many lives are lost every year on the roads over the Easter and Christmas holidays. Again, this is an approach that proved a success in New South of Wales, Australia. In 1999, the regional government there trialed a doubling of demerit points for offences over a 45-day holiday period which included publicity about the penalty and enhanced enforcement. The result was a decrease of between 27% and 34% of fatal crashes, a decrease of between 27% and 30% in road deaths, and a general reduction in traffic infringements. As a result the New South of Wales authorities have since introduced double demerit points for many offences during busy holiday periods such as long weekends, Christmas, New Year and Easter.
What can motorists do to prevent being caught in the demerit system web? Well, for one, they need to be law-abiding citizens. While the demerit point system will penalise you if you do not abide by the rules, there will be incentives for those who do. For every three months a driver does not get penalised, they lose one demerit point.
There is no excuse for breaking the law. “There is no reason, for example, why you should be drinking and driving in the first place. There are alternatives – if you are drinking with friends, you should always ensure that there is at least one sober person who can drive you home. You can also leave your car at home and take a taxi.” says MacArthur. “The best alternative, however, is to not get drunk in the first place and use your own breathalyser to check your limit,” he concludes.
Alcohol Breathalysers Press Release - July 2010:
Breathalysers Campaign: the parent’s way to protecting loved ones
According to research, South Africa has one of the highest per capita alcohol consumption rates in the world, and it is estimated that up to 30% of general hospital admissions in South Africa are directly or indirectly related to alcohol use. Statistics show that alcohol is a leading contributor to road accidents, and more and more underage teenagers are abusing alcohol. The abuse of alcohol has reached a critical stage in this country and we need to go back to basics to encourage responsible drinking. It starts in the family.
Alcohol Breathalysers (Pty) Ltd, the industry leader in affordable alcohol breathalysers, has launched an alcohol safety campaign that encourages parents to equip family members with personal breathalysers in much the same way that cellphones have become a rite of passage for children who reach a certain age. By providing breathalysers, parents are telling their children that even though they are consuming alcohol, they should be responsible and limit their intake. They are also protecting them from the dangers of drunken driving.
Alcohol Breathalysers has made breathalysers accessible to the general public, so parents will not have difficulty in sourcing quality breathalysers that are both convenient and easy to use. The AL2500 personal breathalysers is inexpensive, easy to operate and the safety benefits are immeasurable. Recognising that most personal breathalysers are used in a social setting, the breathalysers were built with style in mind. They are sleek and small enough to fit in the palm of a hand or slip into a purse, pocket, or glove compartment. Within seconds of blowing into a unit, the breathalyser indicates one’s blood alcohol concentration so you instantly know when it’s time to stop drinking and when not to drive.
Parents can have peace of mind when their children are out with friends, because they know that their children will make responsible choices. Giving a young adult a portable breathalyser helps to ease peer pressure of getting into a car with someone they suspect to be over the legal limit. The instant breath alcohol test can deter teen drunk driving and stop a child from being a passenger in a car where the driver is drunk.
Adults will find that the breathalyser makes their lives easier. Adults socialising out on the town or entertaining at home can use the breathalyser to ensure guests either leave sober or spend the night. A portable breathalyser can also ease a homeowner’s liability concerns during a home party by providing just cause for no longer serving alcohol to someone who is drunk. People using breathalysers can also be confident that they are doing their part to protect lives.
If you want to get a personal breathalyser, industrial breathalyser, fixed type breathalyser, wall mounted breathalyser for a bar or pub, please visit www.breathalysers.co.za or contact us directly.
Alcohol Breathalysers Press Release - June 2010:
Breathalysers Campaign encourages responsible drinking during the World Cup
For many fans, sport and alcohol go very well together. Nothing unifies people more than sharing a beer at the pub while watching your favourite football or rugby team give the opposition a good beating. The drunken revelry may be fun, but many fans tend to forget that they still need to hit the road and are often over the alcohol limit, so they should not be driving.
Alcohol Breathalysers (Pty) Ltd encourages responsible drinking and has therefore launched a campaign to crack down on binge drinking, especially during our 2010 World Cup, where the excitement of the tournament will lead many fans to go overboard when drinking.
Alcohol Breathalysers is an owner-run company that sells quality imported breathalysers to the corporates and individuals at an affordable price. The campaign is part of its effort to encourage responsible drinking among South Africans.
“We love our sport and we love our drinks,” says Angus MacArthur, General Manager. “But South Africans need to ensure that they don’t overdo it, and if they do overdo it, they need to make the responsible decision and get someone else to take them home.”
Breathalysers have traditionally been reserved for those convicted of high blood alcohol content (BAC) levels or multiple drunk-driving offences. Alcohol Breathalysers has filled a gap in the market by ensuring they are now accessible to the general public. Breathalyser models such as Alcoscan personal digital breathalysers are convenient and easy to use, and can be stored easily in your bag or car. These models are also ideal for club or pub owners who would like to ensure that their patrons get home safely.
“Our alcohol-related road death statistics are proof that South Africans need to be more responsible with their alcohol intake. Drunk driving is preventable if drivers are aware of their blood alcohol content before they get behind their wheels. Knowing your limit is simple if you have a breathalyser,” continues MacArthur.
If you want to get yourself a personal breathalyser visit www.breathalysers.co.za and place your order.
Alcohol Breathalysers Press Release - 24 March 2010:
Take a breather before you hit the road this coming Easter
Drunken driving is one of the biggest causes of accidents on South African roads. According to Arrive Alive, research indicates that 50% of people who die on the roads have a blood alcohol concentration above 0,05g/100ml. And with the Easter holidays just around the corner, the focus will once again be on road safety and drinking and driving.
Last December, in launching the Arrive Alive campaign for the festive season, Minister of Transport Sbu Ndebele endorsed the use of disposable breathalysers by motorists to keep their levels in check. The importance of this endorsement will be highlighted once again as South Africans take to the road to spend the Easter holidays with family.
With this in mind, www.breathalysers.co.za, a local company will distribute breathalysers to selected outlets throughout the country for sale to the public. “This is our contribution to assist the Government in its Arrive Alive campaign,” says Angus MacArthur, General Manager of www.breathalysers.co.za.
Breathalysers will be available at selected CNA Stores countrywide and directly from www.breathalysers.co.za
“South Africa has one of highest alcohol consumption levels in the world. And despite government’s efforts to change drinking and driving attitudes, alcohol-related accidents continue to be a regular feature on our roads. We want to help turn our road users into responsible citizens,” MacArthur says.
The legal blood alcohol limit in South Africa is 0,05g/100ml of blood. According to Health24, a person weighing 70kg would reach this limit by consuming two glasses of wine or two tots of spirits or two cans of beers. But this can vary from person to person. For example, a woman who weighs 45kg would be slightly over the legal limit for driving after only one glass of wine.
“Apart from the fact that driving while over the alcohol legal limit is a crime, alcohol slows down your reaction time and distorts your vision, making you the ideal candidate for an accident. Being in such a situation is not only irresponsible, it is short-sighted as you will be endangering your own life,” MacArthur says.
“It is better to not drink at all if you are going to be driving, but if you are going to drink, then our reusable breathalysers will give you the chance to check your alcohol level before you drive. By doing that, you would be saving dozens of lives, including your own. The breathalyser testers are cheap, easy to use, and easy to obtain, so there is no excuse to be drunk on the road,” he says.
www.breathalysers.co.za is committed to road safety, and will continue to work with many organisations, private and public, to promote safe driving. “We believe everyone has a role to play to ensure that our roads are safe, and we constantly look for ways to help reduce deaths on the road.”
Alcohol Breathalysers Press Release - 18 March 2010:
We need to work together to make our roads safer
It has often been said that most of South Africa’s roads are a death trap. One cannot deny that the quality of roads, particularly in Johannesburg with all its potholes, has deteriorated. But, according to Arrive Alive, an international study concluded that human error was the sole cause in 57% of all accidents, and was a contributing factor in over 90%.
At the recent road safety summit hosted by the Department of Transport, the departmental minister highlighted the critical situation of Africa’s roads, saying that Africa has the highest road death rate per population in the world – 32.2 people per 100 000 population are killed in road crashes. Africa’s road deaths were currently over 200 000 a year and were predicted to rise by at least 80% by 2020. He said that by 2015, road crashes would be the number one killer of children aged 5-14 in Africa, outstripping Malaria and HIV/AIDS. Road crashes were estimated to cost African countries between 1-3% of their Gross National Product (GNP).
Closer to home, the statistics do offer some hope, however little. The Road Traffic Management Corporation reported in January that road death figures for December 2009 were 21% down compared with the same period the previous year. However, 1050 fatalities are still too many deaths and as the department has pointed out, road safety is everyone’s responsibility, so South Africans have to play their part.
Angus MacArthur, General Manager of www.breathalysers.co.za , says that private companies partnering with the Government to educate the public about road safety, South African roads will be much safer. “It is not just about drinking and driving. Other factors such as negligent driving and driving unroadworthy vehicles are also a problem on our roads. “We need to work together to create a safer environment. It cannot be the work of the Government alone,” he says.
“The Easter holidays are just around the corner and this period, like the December festive period, often pushes to the fore the dire situation on our roads. It has become common knowledge that the minute people begin their trips to the coast and other holiday spots, lives will be lost,” he says.
“This is the ideal time to intensify efforts to highlight and reinforce the message that our roads are for all of us and we need to take responsibility for our own and each other’s well beings.
“Despite calls by the Government, through the Arrive Alive campaign, to be careful on the roads, many people still ignore the rules and choose to disrespect each other. We need to help change that perception.
“We at Breathalysers.co.za support the Government’s efforts to reduce the deaths on the road and as such, are always looking to provide products that will help promote road safety,” he says.
One of the products that the company provides are reusable personal breath alcohol testing devices, which are available at selected CNA Stores countrywide and directly online from www.breathalysers.co.za . There is one entry level breathalyser which is the AL2500 personal digital breathalyser. Products higher up the range are suitable for use in businesses.
“Our products are in support of the government’s Arrive Alive campaign. Despite all the publicity generated against drunk driving in the past few years by the government, alcohol-related accidents continue to be a major cause of death,” MacArthur says.
“We need to arm our communities to effectively reduce the already too high drunk driving rate in the country, especially during the holiday seasons. This will be the first step towards eliminating this serious problem”.