Following several petitions asking whether drunk driving is a non-cognisable offence or a more serious one, the Bombay high court has ruled that it is a non-cognisable offence.
In a non-cognisable offence police can neither register an FIR, investigate, nor arrest anyone without court permission.
Justice Abhay Thipsay said the offence was non-cognisable under section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act. The ruling came in the wake of petitions filed by various offenders caught in the past few years during the campaign against drunk driving launched by the city traffic police.
Additional public prosecutor Usha Kejriwal said the court had issued directions to magistrates on how to take forward matters related to drunk driving.
The court has now said in such cases the magistrate should give all papers to the offender after which the latter can choose to plead guilty or not.