A Licensing Officer instructs a woman to remove the tint from her windscreen during an exercise along Chancery Lane, San Fernando, earlier this year.

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In just over a month since the Demerit Point System has been implemented, Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan says several drivers have already had their licenses suspended.

Sinanan confirmed that many drivers were found to be in breach of the traffic laws since the system was introduced on May 27, prompting drivers to give up their permits under the new law.

“It’s amazing the amount of people who would have been breaking the law before and now are trying to get their act together,” Sinanan said during the sod-turning ceremony for the Morvant to Maritime Roundabout Project yesterday.

“The demerit point is a great success for us. It will take some time for everybody to understand how serious we are with demerit points, I can tell you some drivers’ licenses have already been suspended, I mean within a month they have already accumulated enough points.”

Sinanan could not give an exact figure concerning the number of drivers suspended but pointed out that DUIs were a common offence.

“The report that I have is that some drivers have already been suspended, I’ve had a significant amount of points deducted for being under the influence of alcohol and things like that,” he said.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, bars were closed on March 16 and were only reopened on June 22, just over three weeks after the demerit system came into effect.

Under the new system, each driver starts with 0 demerit points and will incur points against their license for each traffic offence committed. Anyone with more than 10 points but less than 14 within three years will face a six-month suspension whilst more than 14 points but less than 20 within three years can lead to a one-year suspension. More than 20 demerits can lead to two years’ suspension. Driving under the allowed blood alcohol limit is an offence which incurs 9 demerit points.

Sinanan also noted that several maxi drivers had been protesting outside his office following the introduction of the demerit points system requesting Priority Bus Route passes.