NATION

Police Stop Minibus Driver Who Was Allegedly Driving Under The Influence Of Kava

A concerned passenger called Police to report the driver’s recklessness after attempts were made to keep him awake.
13 Aug 2019 16:11
Police Stop Minibus Driver Who Was Allegedly Driving Under The Influence Of Kava
Kava

Is driving under the influence of yaqona (kava) illegal?

Passengers, who were on board a Lautoka-Suva minibus and saw the driver driving erratically because he was allegedly kava-doped, feel it should be illegal just like driving under the influence of alcohol.

Police, acting on a tipoff from one of the passengers, stopped the driver and questioned him at Sigatoka.

He allegedly admitted to police he had drunk a lot of kava before the minibus left Lautoka for Suva on Sunday.

He was then ordered not to drive and to call for a replacement driver.

The passengers claimed he was dozing off on the wheel.

Fourteen passengers boarded the minibus from Lautoka.

A concerned passenger called Police to report the driver’s recklessness after attempts were made to keep him awake.

Passengers told police that the driver was constantly stopping or slowing down in the middle of the highway making frustrated drivers hurl abuse when they passed the minibus.

After being questioned by Police, he later admitted that it must have been due to the grog consumption that had him feeling sleepy.

Passengers asked to be refunded their fare so they could find another alternative transport. However, the driver was eventually replaced by another driver fit to continue the trip.

The complainant thanked the Sigatoka Police for their quick response to attending to the high-risk situation.

Police Spokesperson Ana Naisoro said PSV drivers needed to take the issue of their customers’ safety seriously.

“With the two-week holiday now underway and major gatherings and activities resulting in the increased movement of people on our major highways, drivers must get enough rest as driver fatigue has been a contributing factor to road accidents and fatalities,” she said.

Drivers at the Minibus stand were approached but said the complaint had to be taken up with the owner of the vehicle.

The Land Transport Authority was notified of the incident and said it would issue a statement.

It had not responded when this edition went to press.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: adi.sovasiga@fijisun.com.fj

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