A male officer holds down the hysterical woman, while men filming the incident are chased away.
A video has emerged on social media calling the protocol of drunk driving enforcement and prosecution into question.
This after a woman – who can be heard screaming hysterically throughout the clip – was allegedly held down by police officers while blood is drawn.
A male officer holds her down while he can be heard saying, “You were supposed to convince her … There’s nothing we can do,” while talking about drawing her blood to test the amount of alcohol in it. Another female can be seen faffing over the woman, presumably to draw her blood, while another female JMPD officer can be seen smiling across the table.
This while the woman’s people wait outside the prefabricated unit, talking about lawyers and taking possible legal action.
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About halfway through the video, the woman looks towards the camera, still hysterical, while police officers try to close the blinds of the prefab, telling those filming the incident to leave. At this point in the video, another officer can be seen aggressively pushing the man filming the incident while demanding they leave, while the woman inside continues to cry and scream.
The Citizen obtained the video via Facebook, and it has also been shared on Twitter.
Comments on the video called into question the protocol of drunk driving prosecution, as it was not clear whether the other woman in the video was indeed a nurse or not.
Being caught drinking and driving in South Africa could see you face up to six years behind bars, and a hefty R120,000 fine, as well as a permanent criminal record.
According to Go Legal, the driver will first be breathalysed, and if found over the legal limit, a police officer is within their rights to arrest and charge the suspect.
When it comes to drawing the blood of a suspected drunk driver, Section 65 (9) stipulates that the drunk driver is not permitted to refuse permission for a blood sample to be taken, but can insist to have their doctor present. The driver can also insist on being shown the syringe and needle that will be used on him/her.
Very rarely are police officials tasked with drawing blood, with Section 37 (2) (a) stipulating that prison medical officers, district surgeons, registered doctors or nurses are allowed to take a blood sample.
In the video, another woman that appears to be handling medical equipment can be seen, but it is not yet clear if this was the nurse on duty tasked with drawing the hysterical woman’s blood.
JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minaar told The Citizen that they are aware of the incident, with MMC for public safety Michael Sun clarifying that the woman failed her breathalyser test, which necessitated the police officer to arrest and escort her to the Douglasdale police station for further processing.
“I have noted with concern a video circulating on social media of a woman being restrained by [a] Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) officer while another person, purported to be a nurse, appears to prepare to draw blood from the resident,” Sun said in a statement.
“The individual had allegedly failed a breathalyser test necessitating JMPD to arrest and take her to the Douglasdale Police Station, north of Johannesburg for further processing.”
Sun said the law did not permit a police officer to physically restrain a person who refused to provide a blood sample for law enforcement purposes.
“The City, on noting this incident, has already commenced an internal investigation into the events leading up to the incident as well as to determine whether the appropriate use of force was used by law enforcement officials.”
Sun emphasised that should anyone in the video be found guilty of any wrongdoing, they would face disciplinary action.
(Compiled by Nica Schreuder)
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