The Acting Director-General of the National Road Safety Authority, David Osafo Adonteng, has said that measures are being put in place to ensure that the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in the country is reduced to 0.05%.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) refers to the percentage of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream, and can be measured within 30 to 70 minutes after drinking.
The existing percentage in the country is 0.08% but the NRSA boss believes that it is time to push for a reduction in that level.
Speaking to GhanaWeb on the sidelines of the Journalists Platform for Road Safety Meeting organised by CUTS International in collaboration with the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), he said that now more than ever, they are looking at reviewing the existing law.
Besides, he added, many countries of the world have since reduced their BAC to 0.05 and there is the need for Ghana to follow accordingly.
“We have all appreciated the fact that if we look at our statistics, we’re recording crashes that relate to driving under influence of alcohol and drugs. We are putting in measures to minimise this. In fact, the extent to which we record these crashes is about 5 to 10 percent of all total crashes that are related to driving under the influence of alcohol.
“Apart from advocacy and apart from education and sensitisation that we do among drivers, we recognise that intake of alcohol and driving has become something that are embedded in the lives of some Ghanaians – it becomes very difficult for them to stop.
“Indeed, we’d have wished that nobody drinks and drives so that we have a zero percent of alcohol BAC. We are considering, first, to look at the law because Ghana’s law requires that the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) must not be more than 0.08. we think that there is an opportunity and a window for us to move downwards to 0.05 because a lot of advocacy from CUTS, the National Road Safety Authority, and then others, going round the world and looking at global best practices, most countries have now reduced to 0.05.
“And I think that as protocol demands, and as best practices demand, Ghana must be left out. So, currently, we are reviewing our Road Traffic Regulations, the LI 2180, and we have incorporated, as a proposal, to the Ministry of Transport, to consider,” he said.
David Osafo Adonteng also stated his confidence in the fact that, hopefully before the end of 2023, they should be able to have this target achieved.
He stressed that with the pressure and interests that are currently being mounted on the need for Ghana’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) to be reduced, he is optimistic it will be achieved soon.
“With all these advocacies we are seeing and others from other CSOs and NGOs, we believe that the pressure will come from all of us for the ministry to consider the need for it. There are also other medical issues that are adding on to these advocacies. So, we believe that before the end of this year, this LI will be reviewed for us to move down the BAC level from 0.08 to 0.05,” he stated.
According to CUTS International, the workshop was based on the fact that the media has, over the years, played a critical role in bringing to the fore issues of national concern by reporting on them and engaging with policymakers and governments to advocate for reforms aimed at making the country better.
“The work of Journalists has led to the passage and amendment of some laws and policies which have deepened democratic governance and social cohesion. By shedding light on diverse social and human-interest issues, journalists across the country have worked to bring positive change to the country.
“This meeting was therefore organized to build the capacity of journalists on road safety reporting, thereby supporting policy change advocacy, amendments and enforcement of various road traffic regulations to improve safety on the roads and reduce road crashes,” CUTS International said.