Guinness Nigeria has donated breathalyzers to Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to kick off the “ember months” campaign. The months, leading to the festive end of the year, popularly referred to as “ember months” have historically recorded a disproportionately high rate of road traffic accidents in Nigeria, making the donation of the items to the campaign particularly imperative at this period.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony in Lagos, Managing Director/CEO, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Peter Ndegwa, according to a release said that “this year’s awareness campaign will see the introduction of various novel and innovative strategies geared towards raising public awareness on the benefits of responsible alcohol consumption.
Corps Commander, Lagos Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr. Hyginus Omeje responding, urged motorists to obey traffic laws, avoid overloading and avoid driving under the influence of alcohol.
“Before now, all we had done in terms of enforcement have been based on sobriety tests which can’t be used to prosecute offenders successfully. However, with the kind donation of breathalyzers by Guinness Nigeria, we would be able to prosecute drivers successfully. When we prosecute, one, two, five, ten drivers successfully, you discover that the news will spread very fast and produce the behavioral change which this awareness campaign is expected to usher in,” Omeje noted.
Omeje also commended Guinness Nigeria’s commitment to the ‘ember’ months awareness campaign and activities to mark this year’s program include: Joint road shows to create awareness of drink-driving, Radio and TV talk shows and for the 1st time, random testing of motorists with breathalyzer to check their Blood Alcohol Concentration levels.
Guinness Nigeria’s partnership with the FRSC on road safety began eleven years ago when the United Nations declared 2004 as International Road Safety Year with the theme, “Safe Roads.” Since then, the relationship has blossomed and has translated to the yearly “Ember Months” campaigns during which motoring members of the public are educated on the dangers of drink-driving, especially during the last quarter of the year (Ember Months) when celebrations, festivities and human and vehicular traffic tend to be at their peak.
The ‘ember’ months are known in Nigeria as the months of September, October, November and December.
A breathalyzer or breathalyser (a portmanteau of breath and analyzer/analyser) is a device for estimating blood alcohol content (BAC) from a breath sample. Breathalyzer is the brand name for the instrument that tests the alcohol level developed by inventor Robert Frank Borkenstein. It was registered as a trademark on May 13, 1954, but many people use the term to refer to any generic device for estimating blood alcohol content.