How many more have to die before Barbados gets modern breathalyzer laws?

Another Two-Bus Crash Injures 22 – Once again Barbados Police cannot determine if drivers had been drinking

Fortunately no one died in Tuesday’s bus crash in Christ Church but 22 people were injured – three seriously enough to be taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. (Nation News: 22 hurt in 2 bus crash)

Mass casualty accidents are bound to happen and with big wide buses on our narrow roads we seem to have more than our share of public transit accidents. What never changes is the fact that successive BLP and DLP governments have promised but never acted to provide modern anti-drunk driving laws and breathalyzer testing for drivers suspected of drinking.

Consequently our police have no authority and no tools to curtail drunk driving. Unless a driver is a falling down drunk, there is no law broken in Barbados and even then it is the officer’s word against the driver’s word.

Former Transport Minister Gline Clark, Former Useless Attorneys General Mia Mottley & Dale Marshall

Mia Mottley, Dale Marshall, Owen Arthur, Donville Inniss, Fruendal Stuart and a host of other Bajan politicians all have blood on their hands for their neglect of this important issue. Every year we lose more people to road deaths than to murder, but so far our elected representatives have refused to pass drunk-driving laws. They are obviously too busy staggering to their government-financed autos after the regular Wednesday afternoon liquid lunch at the Hilton.

Here’s a few of our recent articles about the sad state of our laughable drunk driving laws…

July 29, 2010 Chauffeur killed, Barbados MP injured in head-on crash. Police lack authority for proper investigation.

July 11, 2010 How much was death car driver drinking? Barbados police have no idea

June 1, 2010  Speaker of the House Michael Carrington calls for Barbados breathalyser law

April 17, 2010 Driver in Barbados mass casualty bus accident “hung over and smelled of drink” ?


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

15 responses to “How many more have to die before Barbados gets modern breathalyzer laws?

  1. Typical

    It was only a matter of time. I expect a lot more serious accidents in this area around Sheraton Mall. I challenge anyone to drive by this area on any given evening (especially a Friday) without having the inclination to shake your head in disgust at how the mini bus drivers are using these roads. There is absolutely no consideration for other road users. It is a race to see who can hustle and fill their buses.

    Traffic is generally brought to a stand still as mini bus drivers block the road waiting for shoppers and staff to exit the mall. I have seen them sit and wait at the bottom entrance for up to half an hour while blocking the lanes as they wait for people to fill their bus. This usually causes traffic to back all the way up to the Drive-in entrance. A very frustrating practice for motorists. I frequent the mall and am there every Friday evening and have never witnessed a Police presence. What are they waiting for?

    This mini bus “lifestyle” has got to stop. Time to revoke some licenses and ban some drivers.

  2. Where are the stats

    Where are the stats that prove that accidents are directly related to alcohol ingestion?

    All this talk is just circumstantial, or, to put it mildly, “what I believe”.


  3. yatinkiteasy

    It seems stopping people from smoking in public places is more important.
    Police are simply not doing their job to control the reckless ZR and ZM drivers, They must be afraid of them….Everyone in Barbados see these offenders every day, but there is never a policeman in sight. Yet I, who have never had a traffic offense against me for over 40 years, was stopped twice in one week in my nearly new SUV , to see my insurance papers and drivers license.They know a poor old man wouldn`t give them any trouble.
    A bunch of incompetent people being managed by a completely incompetent boss.

  4. Evidence

    Policy changes should be driven by evidence, not rhetoric. I know of no evidence suggesting that breathalyzer laws reduce road deaths.

  5. BFP

    Hi yatinkiteasy,

    How many ZR licenses are owned or controlled by police officers? We hear the rumours, but the Commissioner of Police will not address this conflict of interest. How can the RBPF effectively police the ZRs if some are owned or controlled by fellow officers?

  6. reality check

    evidence is readily available if one chooses to look

    “Most Americans consume very little
    alcohol, so it is not surprising that large majorities of the population support stricter alcohol policies designed to reduce drinking problems, especially among young people. These policy reforms have been shown to be effective in reducing alcohol consumption and problems.”

    Click to access Drinking_in_America.pdf

    As one blogger succinctly put it

    “The government pretends to pay the police and the police pretend to do their job”

    You get what you pay for

  7. whistling frog

    I love the idea of extremely heavy fines like what is now intended on smokers…….I remember not too long ago the seat belt issue,,,,,,Personally I never used a seat belt,,,until the legislation was passed,,,I also love $500,,and I guess so too do a lot of other Bajans,,,Soooo why not slap a Similar $500 fine on persons Littering,,,The Motto of Barbados is Pride and Industry,,,PRIDE hmmmmm!!!!PLASTIC CUPS ALL OVER THE PLACE<<<CHICKEN BOXES,,,PLASTIC BAGS,,,SMALL and BIG JUICE CONTAINERS,,,,TISSUES,,,,PAPER,,,,,,GARBAGE,,,,HOUSEHOLD ITEMS,,,,STOVES,,,REFRIGERATORS,,,,OLD TOILETS,,,,MATRESSES,,,ETC,,,,,.ETC,,,,..HMMMM!!!,,ON THE CONTRARY SLAP A WHOPPING $5000 FINE ,OR THREE YEARS IN JAIL….I REALLY DONT KNOW WHAT REAL AFFECTION WE TRULY HAVE FOR THIS LITTLE ROCK OF OURS,,DREAM ON TO THE SUNRISE……………….

  8. Crusoe

    @Roy”All this talk is just circumstantial, or, to put it mildly, “what I believe”.”@Evidence ”I know of no evidence suggesting that breathalyzer laws reduce road deaths.”

    Of course. Don’t you get it? That IS the point.

    Without controls in legislation and proper policing of the roads aka more Police, more motorcycle Police and proper resources to their hands, there can be no evidence.

    It is the same issue as for transparency in public records and projects.

    Without the records published, we Joe Bajan, cannot have either confidence nor analysis of how our tax dollars are spent and whether spent honestly.

    The days of ‘trust us’ are gone.

    And as for the roads, I have evidence every day that the roads need policing with tighter legislation, like when I am run off the road by inept, drugged or insane drivers at least once every three days., who speed down the middle of the road, around corners and on my side coming the opposite way, with no stopping even when I am close.

    I really do not know which of the three issues they have, because we are not properly policed on the roads.

    This is not an attack on the Police, but an attack on the resources that they do not have and have not been given by Parliament (our esteemed ‘leaders’ ).

  9. Pingback: Global Voices in English » Barbados: How Many More?

  10. Someone who knows

    We need to stop judging people, who says the drivers were drunk. Some of these drivers who were involved in Monday accident have children and there are some inconsiderate comments being posted that have no basis in truth whatsoever.

    Not all young drivers drink.

  11. BFP

    Hello someone who knows,

    No one is saying that the drivers were drunk. It is a fact that no one can tell if the drivers had been drinking earlier in the morning and perhaps still had alcohol in their system. Without a breath test neither you nor the police nor the drivers themselves will know how much alcohol is in their bodies. Therefore our police are incapable of doing a real and full accident investigation even where someone died.

  12. Someone who knows

    Hello BFP

    I speak from authority and I know for a fact that at least one of the drivers do not drink. which one I will no say.

  13. rhubarb

    Can anyone tell us the real reason/s that we have no breathalyser testing? I”m told it is because it would be harmful to our tourism industry. But if I were a potential visitor looking forward to a happy holiday in beautiful Barbados, I’d be far more likely to be put off on learning that there is no legal prohibition to driving drunk on our roads that I would on hearing that I would be subject to breathalyser testing!

  14. The Watcher

    Was this accident caused by a drunk driver?
    What is the connection to breath analyzers and an associated law?
    This seems to be someone’s personal crusade which they are taking any opportunity to promote.
    We don’t need breath analyzers!
    And to the ex-(disgraced) pastor who is trying to preach this to all who will listen: “Go find another cause to champion!”
    I’ve got a few that I can suggest to you!

  15. Pingback: Top-Heavy death traps: 18 casualties as another minibus overturns | Barbados Free Press