Next time you decided to sit behind the wheel after boozing, be prepared to not only get your vehicle impounded, but also visit the court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM) to pay the fine.
The local police have already initiated the drive to impound vehicles of those found driving while drunk beyond permissible limits. So far, around 60 vehicles have been impounded this month.
Senior police officials said earlier the department lacked equipment, but now with 12 alcoholmeters available to the staff, the aim was to make city roads free from people driving in an inebriated condition.
Gurmeet Singh Sohal, in charge of traffic in zone-1, said: "This month alone we have impounded around 60 vehicles, including two-wheelers. In most cases, the violators called up their friends or relatives for a ride. Many youngsters living on their own in the city had to walk back home. We have strict directions not be lenient with anyone."
Commenting on the drive, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said: "We are coming up with stringent moves like impounding vehicles of those found drunk and clamping wheels of vehicles parked wrongly to ensure law and order in the city. Paying the challan is easy, but when the violators feel the pinch, like getting their vehicle released after going through various formalities and facing the embarrassment, they are definitely going to think twice before breaking the law."
The department officials said checkpoints were being set up at late nights across the city. The police are also in the process of buying more alcoholmeters to increase the number of these nakas.
If caught at the naka in an inebriated state while driving, the offenders are issued a challan and their vehicles are taken to the nearest police station. The vehicle can only be collected after paying the challan at the court and showing the challan receipt.
On visiting the police station to reclaim the vehicle, the violators are briefed about traffic rules and sensitised on the need to shun drunken driving as it could lead to serious accidents.
Earlier, the police had started with the drive of clamping wheels of wrongly parked vehicles. The violator had to call the police on the number pasted on the clamp, pay the challan and get the vehicle released.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU DRINK
The legal limit of blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.03% or 30mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. If you have one large peg of whisky (60ml), you will have to wait for at least three hours before you can drive. In the case of beer, a single pint will need at least 90 minutes for the affect of alcohol to reduce enough for you to drive without inviting trouble.