The Government has proposed amendments to the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act in an attempt to reduce and discourage drinking and driving in Guyana.
Some of the proposed amendments include prohibiting holders of liquor licences from selling alcohol to a driver for consumption within their premises. A team from News Update on Monday spoke to several motorists on and off camera to find out whether they believe these new amendments will be effective.
Raphael Williams, a minibus driver said although these new laws are welcomed, it must apply to everyone for it to be successful.
“I think if you’re going to implement certain laws it must be for every person in the country. Not the poor man alone must feel the law but each person must feel it, whether you gah money or not. A law is there to maintain and to uphold and we must uphold the law in every way, in every aspect and without fear nor favour for anybody,” Williams said.
One man who refused to go on camera said this must also apply to drivers who are employed in ‘high’ places.
Meanwhile, another citizen said he fully supports the proposed amendments but substance abuse should be considered. Substance abuse is catered for under the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Amendment Bill 2022.
“Selling alcohol to drivers is risking everyone’s life […] you need to look at the young drivers. I think you have to put an age limit for drivers, probably 20 or 2025.” he said.
Another added that the bartenders should not be blamed for the negligence of the drivers.
“They don’t put it in your mouth, they got to do their business just like how we do our business out here, but the point is that it’s all left to the consideration of the driver, as a driver you are supposed to know that drinking and driving is illegal.”
Another amendment states that bartenders shall not sell, give or barter intoxicating liquor to a person he knows is likely to leave the premises by driving a motor vehicle unless that person has identified another person to be the designated driver of the motor vehicle.
Additionally, the licence holder is mandated to not sell, give or barter intoxicating liquor to a person he knows is likely to leave the premises by driving a motor vehicle unless a designated driver is identified. Any person caught in breach of these proposed amendments, will be fined $100,000 for a first offence and $200,000 for a second offence.