"SA Against Drunk Driving (SADD) are horrified at the lenient sentence given to rugby player Gunter Geyer/Van Rensburg, in Pretoria, after he was found guilty of drunk driving and culpable homicide.
He is the son of Karen van Rensburg, the CEO of the National Prosecuting Authority,and SADD wonder if this connection influenced the fact that he was not jailed, as is recommended by the National Road Traffic Act,and that his license was only suspended for 6 months and not for 5 years .
At 0.1g, he was 2 times over the legal alcohol limit, killed a jogger (Louis Nel) and injured another runner.
At this level (0.1g BAC)there is decreased alertness and attention, impaired co-ordination, slowed reactions and the chance of having a crash are about 10 times higher than driving with zero alcohol in the body.
His sentence of R10 000 - half of which is suspended (instead of the allowed R120 000) and the fact he was not jailed gives the message that drunk driving is not a serious crime, and will not act as a deterrent for others.
In addition SADD are extremely concerned that there is no financial retribution to this family who lost their breadwinner, husband and father.
Gunter is sentenced to 2 years correctional supervision, house arrest, 384 hours Community service, and is not allowed to drink any alcohol, as he admits to having a serious alcohol problem.
SADD wonders who will monitor all these conditions? From past experience of community service we know of a case where only 1 hour of a 100 hour sentence was completed, before the offender was signed off as having completed their obligations.
Alcohol dependence is an extremely complex illness, and seldom do people stop drinking simply because they have been told to do so.
People who suffer from alcohol problems need close monitoring and treatment to prevent them drinking again.
SADD hope Gunter has been sent to a specialist addiction counsellor or to a specialist alcohol organization such as SANCA Alcohol and Drug Centre.
We recommend that he be fitted with an alcohol ankle bracelet for the next 2 years, to prevent him drinking, and for an alcohol ignition interlock be fitted to his car when he does start driving, to prevent him endangering other lives in the future."
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