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Bar owner in fresh bid to stop alcoblow

A court has ordered an entertainment joint and its proprietor to renew application for interim orders stopping the use of breathalysers on Monday.

Reminisce Bar and Grill and its owner Mr Kariuki Ruitha moved to court arguing that there was no provision in the Traffic Act that empowered the Cabinet Secretary for Transport to prescribe the maximum amount of alcohol that a motorist may consume without committing a traffic offence. 

They have sued the Cabinet Secretary, Inspector General of Police, Director of Public Prosecutions, National Transport and Safety Authority and the Attorney General.

They are seeking to restrain the respondents from subjecting motorists to a breath test pending hearing and determination of the petition.

The petitioners also want temporary orders be issued to restrain the respondents from enforcing or implementing the Traffic (breathylser) Rules, 2011 at road blocks that have not been gazetted.

Through their lawyer Kibe Mungai, they claim breathylser rules are unconstitutional because they provide for criminal offences that have not been created by Parliament.

They also argue that the rules criminalise consumption of alcohol beyond the prescribed limit in spite of the fact that under the Traffic Act, alcohol consumption is only a crime when it intoxicates a motorist to an extent of losing proper control of the vehicle.

The case had been mentioned before Mr Justice Isaac Lenaola on Friday who directed that it be mentioned Monday before Ms Justice Mumbi Ngugi who is handling a similar petition.