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8. WHAT ARE MY LEGAL RIGHTS WHEN I AM STOPPED AT A ROAD BLOCK ?

The National or Provincial Police Commissioner may, where it is reasonable in the circumstances, in writing authorise the setting up of a roadblock on any public road in a particular area or to set up a checkpoint or checkpoints at any public place in a particular area.1 The written authorisation referred to in paragraph must specify the date, approximate duration, place and object of the proposed action. Only in circumstances where obtaining authorization would take too long and defeat the object of the roadblock, can a it be set up without authorisation. A police official may search any person or vehicle at a roadblock without a search warrant. You are entitled to ask for a copy of the written authorisation to set up the roadblock, or if no authorisation was obtained because of time, the reasons why the roadblock was set up.

8. CAN I BE COMPELLED TO SUBMIT A BREATHALYSER OR HAVE BLOOD DRAWN?

The National Road Traffic Act1 provides that no person shall refuse that a specimen of blood or a specimen of breath be taken of him or her. Refusal is a statutory criminal offence, bearing a maximum sentence equal to that prescribed for the offence of driving with a blood alcohol level which is above the legal limit.

The Criminal Procedure Act stipulates that police officers must take an arrested person to a registered medical practitioner for blood to be drawn.2 The police may even apply necessary force to compel an unwilling person to comply with such a lawful request.3

1 Sec 69(9)

2 Sec 37

3 S v Binta 1993 (2) SACR 553 (C)

 

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