Speaker of the House Michael Carrington calls for Barbados breathalyser law

Every year more people are killed in road accidents in Barbados than are murdered, yet successive BLP and DLP governments refuse to implement breathalyser equipment and modern laws to protect people from drunk drivers.

The first job of government is to protect the citizens, and successive BLP and DLP governments have failed to protect the citizens when it comes to people who drink and drive.

Six dead at the Joes River tour bus crash, four more dead in the Emancipation Day crash and others. But in these and other serious crashes since, aside from an autopsy, Barbados Police have no way of proving how much an involved driver has been drinking.

That is because our government has been negligent in providing the legal structure and the equipment that the police need to protect us all.

… from the BFP article Barbados Bus Crash Injures 59 – Police Cannot Determine If Drivers Had Been Drinking

Can MP Michael Carrington lead the way? Will the Health & Transport Ministers join him?

We see in today’s Barbados Advocate that Speaker of the House and MP for St. Michael West signed a petition calling for the government to enact breathalyser laws.

Signing was an excellent gesture by Mr. Carrington and we hope that he continues to push for his government to finally do something about the carnage on our roads.

His next step should perhaps be to speak with Health Minister Donville Innis who exhibited a definite “take it or leave it – not really interested” attitude to breathalyser laws when Mr. Innis last talked with Barbados Free Press about the subject in December of 2009.

I don’t know why this should be so difficult because breathalysers will save lives, and both the law and the technology are relatively cheap, quick and easy to implement. It’s not like we have to invent anything or do much more than copy and paste laws from other countries with a little tweaking for our culture and court system.

Maybe if folks at Parliament could leave their pistols at home and stay sober for a couple of days we could get this law passed! (sorry… couldn’t help it.)

Further Reading

Dec 21, 2009 – Barbados Health Minister Donville Inniss: Breathalyzer Law & Equipment not necessary

Oct 5, 2009 – The Failure of DLP and BLP Governments to protect Bajans from dangerous & drunk drivers

November 22, 2008: Barbados Bus Crash Injures 59 – Police Cannot Determine If Drivers Had Been Drinking

November 22, 2007 – Five Year Sentence For Dangerous Driver – But Still No Breathalyzer Law

October 30, 2007 – More Road Deaths Than Murders: Yet Barbados Still Does Not Have Breathalyzer Laws Or Technology

August 15, 2007 – Minister of Transport Gline Clarke Finally “Talking” About Driver Breathaliser Tests – As First Suggested By By Barbados Free Press Over A Year Ago

July 25, 2006 – Barbados Government To Ban Cell Phones While Driving

Top photo: Barbados Advocate

Bottom: Nation News

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Disaster, Health, Police

9 responses to “Speaker of the House Michael Carrington calls for Barbados breathalyser law

  1. reality check

    signing a petition?

    Isn’t Michael Carrington part of the government?

    Can’t he introduce a standard bill in the house to see who will jump on it right away or kill it?

  2. minie R.

    Good for Mr. Carington your Member of Parliament. I am surprised that Barbaods doesn’t have laws against drunken driving, every police car should have a small breathalizer screening machine. Many police cars in Canada and the United States have the machines and most drivers fear the police and don’t drink.

  3. Rude Boy

    Bring the machines and at the same time let us ensure that we have the human and financial resources to use them. Don’t stop police from responding to violent crimes against women in less than 6 hours or to robberies the next day. Let them stay on the highways and stop and smell the breath of each passer by. They may actually catch a criminal or two. BTW: The same politicians that pass the laws will as usual be saluted by police and will not be tested! Wow. What a drunken thought!

  4. BFP

    Hello Reality Check,

    Yes, that is the natural next step for Mr. Carrington if he wants to retain his credibility on this issue. We’ll give him a chance and a little bit of time by saying he has just come on board the train and needs a few weeks to convince his colleagues. If, however, he goes silent on the issue and nothing results then we will believe it was all show and politics on his part.

    We’ll give him a few weeks because that’s all it should take.

  5. So booze not bullets concerns him and we have a US Dignitary arriving? http://bajanreporter.com/?p=13952

  6. BFP

    Oh Ian!

    I LOVED your line… “(William Jefferson Clinton, cigar connoisseur)”

    Clive

  7. The Watcher

    I want to respectfully weigh in on this “issue” but not from the perspective of the Hon speaker of the house, but from the perspective fo the ex-pastor who is lobbying so ferverently for legislation in futility!
    The introduction of the breath-analyzer in Barbados is tantamount to a solution in search of a problem. Most of the drivers who are now driving under the influence, are not under the influence of alcohol, but of other substances undetectable by this device. Furthermore, I am 100% certain that if the insurances were experiencing serious losses as a result of drunk drivers, they would have been up this issue long ago. Seems to me that we want to slowly turn this country into a US-styled environment w.r.t the consumption of alcohol. We have our own way, our own style and our own culture which includes alcohol and that is what it is, like it or not. This is a gargantuanm waste of time, money and resources and the champion of this effort is now trying to find his way back to the spotlight which he once held and public acceptance which he lacks by pushing this nonsense on the public.
    Mr./Pastor Roach. Go find something worthwhile to champion that will really benifit Barbadians as a whole. Are there no seniors whom we(as a country) have neglected that can now do with our help? Can you see the value of raising money privately to set up a fund that acts as a compliment to the pension scheme that may help to offset the costs of groceries or other necessities for seniors?
    I find that you so called christians have your collective focus trained down the wrong path(s) choosing rather to ignore what the Bible teaches in favor of seeking your own glorification and attribution.
    SHAME ON YOU!

  8. This is a topic that I would love to touch slightly on… I was in Barbados recently with some friends and co-workers and we were witness to many impaired drivers on our first night, but most importantly one who almost took our lives and I am sure the impact would have killed us; taking some bright futures and leaving orphans behind. The strangest part was how he took out some kind of palm tree after bending a metal pole, and the cops still didn’t arrive after an hour, we were too shaken up to stay and left our number and address to the guest house where we stayed, and after 10 days we still weren’t contacted by anyone to hear or to get an eye witness event as to what happened.

    My guests refused to venture outdoors after 7pm and swore they would never visit Barbados again. Of course I was upset that friends and business associates would think of my country as dangerous, so I tried to find statistics to prove that it was an isolated incident and that something of the sort doesn’t happen too often in Barbados…I was wrong, apparently the roads aren’t safe and some males 20-45 are consuming booze heavily and abusing some substances and still driving home from the rum shops and the clubs and causing accidents that maim some and take lives….also you have mini buses where people account that the drivers are driving under the influence of alcohol and some drugs, and they are transporting the citizens and visitors of Barbados…

    Barbados is a rare Gem…0% tolerance of drinking and driving will bring back what has been lost…I love Barbados and hate to know that one incident has left a bad taste in some mouths. I don’t know if breathalyzers will help, or do I know if they detect other substances, but there needs to be some type of deterrence that will help keep our citizens alive…but who knows maybe they are waiting for the impaired drivers to take out the older folk so they don’t have to worry about them or provide proper pensions and benefits…oh no wait maybe they are waiting for the first serious law-suit that includes the insurance companies and the government (official) who chooses to turn a blind-eye, and maybe that suit may launch from the families of a van load of tourist who were just trying to have a fun-filled day at Bathsheba or out to their dinner meeting down by St. Charles Place.

    I still see and think about that night and the young man who was taken to hospital after the ambulance revived him from his bouts of unconsciousness…I still wonder about that bloodied-faced young man and what would have happened to the 7 of us (four palm trees away) if he didn’t hit the metal pole first???

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