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South Africans Against Drunk Driving -SADD- recommend that Omesh Ramnarain who killed M4 cyclists Jared Dwyer and Richard da Silva, is not given bail, because we feel the sentence was incorrect for the following reasons.
Magistrate Maharaj found him “Not Guilty of Drunk Driving” even though his blood alcohol level (BAC) was 0.24g, two and a half hours after the crash i.e. 4 times over the legal limit. The Doctor had also stated he was “moderately drunk.”
Legally, a Senior State Advocate says: “There is still a case if blood is drawn after 2 hours but many presiding officers and prosecutors do not know this. The presumption is that it is then presumed that it was not less than the legal limit at the time of the incident.” The Forensic Pathologist was apparently not allowed to testify about elimination rates which would have proved this.
Ramnarain admitted he drank 4 ciders, which equates to about 0.24g. Ramnarain was charged with “Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicating substance” (Main Charge Sect 65 (1)) which states if a person has drunk alcohol and drives in an impaired way, he should be found guilty. Ramnarain states he did not see the cyclists, which is consistent with being “Blind Drunk” and a common symptom of a high BAC.
Another issue which the Magistrate perhaps does not understand is the fact that tolerance occurs with practiced drinkers, which means they can pass sobriety tests like the Romberg even though their BAC is extremely high, like in Ramnarains’ case.