TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: Drunk driving fines increased - EntornoInteligente / News day / “What I am asking the magistrate to do is throw the books at them,” he said. “Whether it is the maximum fine of $22,500, a jail term, a suspension on their drivers permit…let us start setting the example. We will not tolerate driving under the influence,” Cadiz said.

He was addressing the launch of the Drink/ Drive Campaign themed, “Who’ll be driving you?” at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain. He told the function that the new fines for driving under the influence were passed in the Finance Bill last Friday.

“It has moved from $8,000 to $12,000 for the first offense,” Minister Cadiz said. “On the second offense $15,000 to $22,500 along with other fines that were increased for driving without permit amongst others.”

He asked that magistrates throw the book at every single driver that comes before them for driving under the influence. “As Trinidadians and Tobagonians they have this habit it will never happen to us,” Cadiz said. “We jump in a car we have this iron cage around us, we are driving a car that is 2,000 pounds in weight and we figure that we are invincible… nothing can happen to us.”

He called on the Judiciary to not allow people to come before them and claim innocence.

“They didn’t know…they only had one beer, every excuse under the sun,” Cadiz said indicating thee type of statements accused persons make when they come before the Courts. “ No more excuses.”

The Minister stated that it happens all over the developed countries around the world that if you drive under the influence there is a penalty. “There is a penalty, people are jailed, they take your licence for good,” he said.

Cadiz noted that driving under the influence not only affects the person in the car but other drivers and it can affect a person’s entire career. “If you go to major companies and they see that you have been charged…not one but two charges of drunk driving they would not want to hire you,” Minster Cadiz pointed out. “ You are a liability. ‘I don’t want you in my company’ and that is the case.”

He noted if someone wanted to be a driver in a company they to had to take responsibility.

“If you were to work in my company and you are a chronic drinker you cannot be driving and I am very sorry. These are some of the things all of us can play a part in dealing with this issue of driving under the influence.

Cadiz criticised some drivers for what he termed their “jackass driving” on the nation’s roads.

“Sometimes I really wonder when you see… and excuse the French, I call it the jackass driving, which is exactly what it is. When you see people driving .. and I ask myself why, what was the real reasons for them to do what they just did. Did the driver lose concentration, didn’t you think that you would endanger the lives of how many people around you? Your own life the passengers in the car, why did you do it?” Cadiz asked.

The Drink/Drive campaign is a collaboration between the Ministry of Transport and the non- profit association, Trinidad and Tobago Beverage Alcohol Alliance (TTBAA).

Cadiz said the aim of the campaign was to create awareness, build understanding and show the relevance of the consequences of drinking and driving, in order to have a dynamic impact on the nation.

He said the issue with road safety in particular, and with drunk driving, is a great concern to the Ministry and the new initiative.Who’ll will be driving you,” is a fabulous initiative and he hoped the programme can be used throughout the years.

Con Información de News day

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