Just like most countries in the world, Nigeria has an existing law banning driving while under the influence of alcohol. However, it appears that Nigeria only pays lip service to the enforcement of this law.
This is particular evident by the indiscriminate manner in which alcoholic beverages are sold at places where there is an abundance of motorists – especially the commercial types.
Indeed, the easiest and fastest place to access alcoholic drinks in Nigeria is at bus stops, motor parks, etc.
At motor parks, many commercial drivers typically drink all manner of harsh alcoholic gins and concoctions before they commence a trip. Okada and Keke Marwa operators are not left out of this tradition.
A drunk driver behind the wheels of mobile vehicle is capable of taking the most daredevil risk. It could also make them lose concentration or even sleep off. A drunk driver can cause harm to yourself and others. They are disasters waiting to occur.
90 per cent of road accidents in Nigeria is as a result of the indulgence in alcoholic drinks, hard drugs, etc. This is according to The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
However, this statistics appears rather curious. Especially coming from a safety institution that is not popular for stopping reckless motorist in order to subject them to the DUI test.
How often the FRSC does used breathalyzer to estimate the blood alcohol content (BAC) from a breath of reckless drivers?
Even sadder, the FRSC penalty for drink driving in Nigeria is a huge joke. A paltry N5000 fine.
In most countries of the world, driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence. Of which the consequences of violating the drunk driving law can attract long-term jail term. In the UK, it can be up to 14 years in jail.
These are countries where government value the safety and protection of its people.
A society that outlaws drink driving, yet allows the indiscriminate sale of all manner of alcoholic beverages at bus stops, motor parks and garages, etc., can’t be said to be serious about eliminating drink driving – especially amount commercial motorists.
For the campaign against drink driving to be taken seriously, the fight needs to start at bus stops, motor parks, garages, etc.