Jail sentence for intoxicated driver

WALVIS BAY A repeat drinking and driving offender was sent straight to jail for committing a fifth similar offence.

11 February 2019 | Justice

Vicky Nicolaidis; Magistrate; “It appears as if traffic officers are fighting a losing battle against those who disobey the rules of the road.”

Otis Finck - Elizabeth Cronje (47) was found guilty and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for driving under the influence of alcohol on Monday.

Magistrate Vicky Nicolaidis also fined Cronje who appeared in the magistrate’s court in Walvis Bay N$1 000 or 30 days imprisonment for failing to produce her driver’s license.

In addition, Cronje was also disqualified from applying for a learner’s or driver’s license for five years.

The accused, a divorced mother of two, conducted her own defence and pleaded guilty.

She told magistrate Nicolaidis that she enjoyed some red wine, and admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol.

She further said she was alone and on her way to home when she crashed the vehicle she was driving into a stationary vehicle on 2 February.

“I drove away from the accident scene and was arrested at my home. I know I was wrong and that it would not have happened if I had not consumed alcohol.”

Cronje, who is self employed, has four previous drinking and driving convictions.

Public prosecutor Tresia Hafeni told the court that the offences faced by the accused are of a serious nature and alarmingly prevalent.

“The court must impose a deterrent sentence. Statistics have shown that drunken driving is the leading cause of road accidents in Namibia. It is also aggravating that the accused has previous convictions for the same offence and still chose to drive while being under the influence of liquor.”

Hafeni emphasised that the accused was not deterred by the thousands of dollars in fines she had to pay, and said she was a danger to herself and other road users.

“She drove without a licence, since it was suspended. This shows she has no respect for the law. There was an accident and luckily no one sustained injuries. Fines imposed in the past have proven ineffective and the court should sentence the accused in such a way to show the community that drinking and driving is regarded as a serious offence. It should also be a wake up call for her to turn her life around. The fact that she pleaded guilty and appears remorseful should not detract from the seriousness of the offence.”

Court records indicate Cronje was found guilty and fined N$20 000 or 12 months imprisonment in February 2017. Her driver’s license was suspended for 12 months.

She was fined N$10 000 or 12 months imprisonment in August 2015. Her licence was also suspended for five years.

She was also fined N$8 000 or an 18 months imprisonment sentence in September 2012. Her driver’s licence was also suspended for five months on the occasion.

She was found guilty and fined N$6 000 or 12 months imprisonment in March 2012.

In her sentencing reason magistrate Nicolaidis said it is imperative courts take a firm stance in sentencing accused persons in road traffic offences in order to show the public there is zero tolerance for drivers who disobey the law.

“The accused has four previous convictions for the same offence and had been imposed with fines totaling N$44 000 in the span of five years. Her last conviction was in October 2017, and less than 18 months later she is back in the dock for perpetrating the same offence. The maximum penalty permitted by law was imposed with her last conviction.”

Nicolaidis added that the court is inundated on a weekly basis with drunken driving cases, despite sentences meted out and extensive awareness campaigns carried out countrywide.

“This offence has become so endemic that it appears as if traffic officers are fighting a losing battle against those who disobey the rules of the road.”

She labelled Namibian roads highways to death and said this places all road users in ever present peril.

“The court has a duty to protect road users from those who chose to ignore the rules of the road. The only way to attain this is by imposing higher sentences. This is crucial due to the staggering statistics of road deaths experienced every year. Sentencing should thus be in such a way that potential offenders are instantly deterred.”

Similar News


DNS onder vergrootglas

2 weeks ago - 07 April 2021 | Justice

Windhoek ∙ [email protected] DNS-resultate van mnr. Ernst Lichtenstrasser in die moordondersoek van twee topbestuurders van die Namibië Instituut van Mynbou en Tegnologie (Nimt) het gister...

Bail denied for rape accused grandpa

1 month - 25 February 2021 | Justice

Walvis Bay • [email protected] The bail application of a 67-year-old man accused of raping his granddaughter (13) failed in the Walvis Bay magistrate’s...

Teenage girl goes missing

1 month - 23 February 2021 | Justice

Usakos A 16-year-old resident of Usakos, Grace /Uiras was reported missing.She was last seen on Friday, 19 February at around 15:00 at Erf...

Lockdown to be challenged in court

7 months ago - 23 August 2020 | Justice

Walvis Bay • [email protected] Metcalfe Beukes Attorneys are ready to drag government and the ministry of health and social services in particular, to court about...

Covid-19 closes W’Bay magistrates’ court

9 months ago - 16 July 2020 | Justice

Walvis Bay The Walvis Bay magistrates’ court has been closed temporarily and all court proceedings have been suspended.Chief Justice Peter Shivute called for the...

Insolvency regulations to be reviewed

1 year - 02 December 2019 | Justice

Swakopmund • [email protected] Public policymakers, private legal practitioners and judicial officers from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) gathered to discuss and share information...

LED light campaigners finally see the light

2 years ago - 26 November 2018 | Justice

Otis Finck - Walvis Bay traffic chief Eben Platt called on motorists to read between the lines with regard to a recent newspaper headline...

Rape case: father pleads for bail

2 years ago - 17 September 2018 | Justice

Otis Finck A court case involving a man (46) accused of repeatedly raping his 11-year-old daughter was postponed for the continuation of his bail application...

Twist in indecent assault case

2 years ago - 17 September 2018 | Justice

Otis FinckThe indecent assault case against Leroy Henry Kruger, a Swakopmund-based estate agent, was postponed to 19 November for plea and trial. Magistrate John Sindano...

Violent killer found guilty in high court

2 years ago - 10 September 2018 | Justice

A Walvis Bay resident who committed a string of violent acts against three women in 2013 was found guilty in the Windhoek high court. The...

Latest News

Buccaneers Summer League 21 concluded

10 minutes ago | Sports

The final round of the Buccaneers Summer League tournament was played on 10 April, with congratulations going to Brandon Grane who defeated everyone in the...

LeSean Elshadai drops EP in...

Swakopmund • [email protected] Recording artist Clinton “LeSean Elshadai” Mulenga and Jonathan “Johnny Be Good” Luvindao recently released the EP (extended play) project Kaliyuga with...

Choose your most inspiring moment...

1 hour ago | Sports

Sports fans around the globe can be part of next month’s Laureus World Sports Awards by voting in an online poll to pick the Laureus...

Maria Nepembe triumphs at Zikomo...

Swakopmund • [email protected] Namibian socialite and entrepreneur Maria Nepembe scooped three accolades at the Zikomo Awards that took place in Lusaka, Zambia, recently.Nepembe took...

CFC extends its lead

2 hours ago | Sports

The second round of the 2021 Bank Windhoek Fistball League saw Cohen Fistball Club (CFC) defeat hosts and rivals Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW) with a...

Moving farewell over the Namib...

2 hours ago | Local News

Swakopmund As a symbol of respect and in line with the wishes of Hans Burkhardt who died at the beginning of the year, several...

‘Zero Hour’ set to premiere

2 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Swakopmund The short film Zero Hour premieres at the Mondesa Multi-Purpose Centre on Thursday at 18:30.“In this 10-minute short film, 22-year-old recent graduate Mbakoo...

Local visual arts sector is...

2 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

The Bank Windhoek Triennial 2020 Awards ceremony and exhibition opening takes place on Thursday (22 April 2021) at 16:00. With 491 submissions received of which...

Nande eet Rössmund vir brekfis...

16 hours ago | Sports

Likius Nande het met tien houe gewen toe Rössmund-klub buite Swakopmund vir die tweede keer die Standard Bank Swakop Ope aangebied het, as deel van...

Load More