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Morning drink driving September 10, 2007

Posted by isabelleinnamibia in Eh?.

It’s a reverse scenario. I’m driving, with Dad in the passenger seat and Mum in the back, asking them to be quiet as I negotiate our chunky 4×4 rental bakkie out to the highway through Friday-morning-before-long-weekend traffic. It’s their first whole day in Windhoek, and I am taking them up to Ovitoto to show them what I’ve been doing for the last year. And my dear Field Officer is getting married, so we are dressed rather smartly, and they have the excitement of children at the beginning of a long road trip holiday. As I am trying to point out the game park, the abattoir and outline of the Khomas Highlands as we cruise down the highway north, I notice the traffic is backing up greatly from Police Road Block leaving town. Traffic jams are rare, never more than 5 cars in a row, so this stream of 20-odd is rather alarming; especially at a Road Block, where you often have to search the redundant police caravan 10 metres away for a half-hearted arm to wave you through.

As we crawl forward to the barrier, the two cars in front and our car are asked to pull over and wait. A little edgy at driving my parents around in a massive truck-of-a-car, and not knowing what time the wedding was starting or where in which village it was, I could’ve done without this. I sit patiently, as my parents start their questioning of why we have been pulled over. My dad even suggested that he filmed it on him camcorder – “Not if you want to keep it”, I warn.

Finally, the officer in charge works his way down to us, and asks me to step out of the vehicle.

“Good morning, madam. Can you please blow into this tube?”  holding up a breathalyser kit. Seriously? At 10.30 in the morning?! Not only this, but there is also a TV crew from One Africa filming the whole episode. I comply politely, muttering about being late for a wedding, a little concerned that my flu medicine would incriminate me, but I pull through with a 0.0 blood-alcohol content.

“Well done. Thank you. Now can you tell us what you think about this road block? We are doing an alcohol awareness road test”, chirps the TV presenter, shoving a microphone under my nose.

Taking any opportunity I get, I spring into action, advocating my work on alcohol awareness and berating the evils of drink-driving, before finishing with, “Yeah, your campaign is a great idea, but perhaps better implemented at a time when people are more likely to be drink-driving? Right, I’ve a wedding to get to! Bye”.

I am still to find out whether my little episode was included in the actual broadcast, and whether anyone could understand a word of my babbling, but at least it gave my parents a great story to tell all their friends, how their dear daughter got breathalysed at a police road block in Africa, at 10 in the morning!

At least I passed.



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