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Can LASTMA Or FRSC Officials Conduct Intoxication Test?



Have you noticed that no one in Nigeria seem to be arrested for drunk driving?

Well, if they are, the reported cases appears incredibly negligible. This is rather strange especially in a country where breweries and distilleries are declaring terrific profits.

Anyway, the question is – are the road traffic laws enforcer in Nigeria legally empowered to carry out sobriety test on motorists?

Indeed, they are.

LASTMA and FRSC officials have the power to conduct breath, blood, and urine tests to determine alcohol levels of drivers.

However, as of present, there are hardly any instance of officials of these road traffic management agencies exercising this power. Therefore, there does not seem to be any precedence for this procedure.

Even worse, there are no enabling laws for the use of breath testing equipment by LASTMA.

That notwithstanding, and using internationally approved standards, LASTMA and other road traffic management agencies would have to follow these steps:

Step 1: Detain the individual in order to administer the test.

Step 2: Inform the person of the need to obtain a breath, blood, or urine test.

Step 3: If the individual refuses to consent to the test, the LASTMA official will have to obtain a warrant or court order in order to forcibly conduct the test.

Step 4: If the individual consents to the test, the LASTMA official would direct a qualified medical practitioner to conduct the required test.

Step 5: Upon confirmation of the test results, the LASTMA official will then proceed to take the necessary steps to either inform the individual of the alleged commission of the offence of driving while under the influence of alcohol; or release the individual.

Note that obtaining of blood, breath, and urine samples borders on the Fundamental Human Rights of individuals, so if you believe a LASTMA or FRSC official has erroneously exercised this power, you will need to contact your lawyer.

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