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17.02.2007 Crime & Punishment

Two Drivers Jailed

By Daily Guide

Two mini-bus drivers who pleaded guilty to dangerous and drunk driving before a Sekondi Magistrate Court last week, are currently wallowing in Sekondi Central Prison for their inability to pay the fines imposed on them.

Edward Otabil, 28, tested 0.20 per cent alcohol instead of 0.08 per cent and was fined 500 penalty units, the equivalent of ¢60 million and in addition was fined 200 penalty units, the equivalent of ¢24 million for dangerous driving.

The court imposed on Otabil, the driver of Nissan urvan mini-bus WR 6559 S, a total fine of ¢84 million for both drunk-driving and dangerous driving, or in default go to prison for nine months.

His colleague, Mohammed Moro, 24, driver of Hyundai urvan mini-bus, GT 4008 T, who also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving was fined 200 penalty units, the equivalent of ¢24 million or in default spend six months in jail.

Briefing Daily Guide at his office in Sekondi yesterday, Supt. Victor Adusah-Poku, Western Regional Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service said on February 7, 2007, the two mini-bus drivers were driving on the road from Agona Nkwanta towards Takoradi.

The two drivers, who had loaded their mini-buses with passengers, were spotted at Aboade, driving at top speed and trying to outrace each other.

Moro, after overtaking Otabil, stopped suddenly in front of the former, which action could have caused a very fatal accident.

The police arrested the two drivers and when tested for alcohol, Otabil was found to be 0.20 per cent instead of 0.08 per cent and the two were brought before a Sekondi Magistrate Court.

Passing sentence, Mr. Tsatsu Azumah, the presiding magistrate, made it clear the minimum fine for drunk-driving was 500 penalty units, the equivalent of ¢50 million, while the maximum fine was 2,000 penalty units, the equivalent of ¢240 million.

He said since life was precious, it must always be protected and that the law would not spare drunken drivers.