Caution is the word for motorists indulging in drink-driving. If statistics are an indicator, UT traffic police and local courts have been stricter with those found guilty of the offence in 2013.
Of the 1,218 persons challaned for the offence from January to March this year, 280 were made to stand till the rising of the court, statistics show.
This is a sharp rise when compared to those made to serve the punishment last year. From January to December 2012, only 220 violators were made to stand for nearly eight hours till the court proceeding concluded for the day.
The rise in this rate is however not because UT traffic police have stepped up their drive against drunken driving. Statistics show that while 1,218 persons were challaned till March 31 this year, the figure for the same time period was 1,665 in 2012.
The drive against drunken driving has been beneficial for finances of the UT traffic police, too. More than Rs. 3 lakh have been collected as fine from defaulters.
In 2011, the traffic police had challaned 4,679 motorists from January to December. However, only 194 were made to stand till the rising of the court.
Superintendent of police (traffic) Maneesh Chaudhry said police had requested the courts to be strict against such offenders. “Residents are appealed not to drive after consuming liquor. They should know that taking the wheel after more than 60-ml alcohol will invite trouble.”
UT inspector general of police RP Upadhyaya said drink-driving was a dangerous trend. “Those driving drunk are a threat to others on the road. We are committed to stop this and have and intensified the checking,” he said. In the case of repeated offenders, UT traffic police have become stricter and recommended cancellation of their licences.
Ante against drunk driving
UT police department's campaign against drink-driving started in June 2011 when the city had witnessed several road mishaps in which some motorists were found to be under the influence of alcohol. While it may seem that courts have been strict against those caught for the offence, Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act, under which people are convicted of the offence, has harsher penalties:
* As per law, anyone found driving a vehicle while drunk faces imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of Rs. 2,000 or both.
* Repeated offenders can be jailed for up to two years and fined Rs. 3,000.
Year Challans TRC
2011 4,679 * 194*
2012 1,665* 220**
2013 1,218** 280**
(* from Jan to December; ** from Jan to March; TRC: made to stand till rising of court)