HC tells traffic cops to keep a check outside drinking joints | delhi | Hindustan Times
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HC tells traffic cops to keep a check outside drinking joints

There might be a policeman round the corner, armed with breath analyzers and waiting to hand you a challan (traffic ticket), reports Harish V Nair.

delhi Updated: May 19, 2009 00:24 IST
Harish V Nair

Leaving a pub after a drink or two? Think twice before you get behind the wheel.

There might be a policeman round the corner, armed with breath analyzers and waiting to hand you a challan (traffic ticket).

In a major initiative aimed at cracking down on drink driving 'at source', the Delhi High Court on Monday asked the traffic police to post its personnel outside pubs, bars and restaurants which serve liquor and penalise those driving out drunk.

The order came from Justice JR Midha who was stunned by the revelation by the recent Delhi Traffic Police survey that 95 per cent of the patrons of middle-level bars drive on their own after drinking.

For high-end bars, the figure stands at 80 per cent, with only 20 per cent using chauffeur-driven cars.

“This means that the Capital’s pubs and bars are unleashing killer machines onto the roads,” said the judge.

There are 4,711 eating outlets that serve liquor, 791 licensed pubs/bars and 11 discotheques in Delhi.

“Why do you stand here and there and conduct random checks using breath analysers. I don’t think they have been really effective?” said Justice Midha. “The best way is to post your team outside places serving liquor. Many can be caught then and there.”

The court floated the ‘cops outside bars’ idea as an immediate measure after Mukta Gupta, the counsel for Delhi Police, Excise and Licensing department, submitted that implementation of the direction to make it mandatory for all bars, pubs and discotheques to offer services of ‘replacement drivers’ would take time.

Replacement drivers are those who offer their services to customers too inebriated to drive back home.

“Since bringing out a regulation is a policy decision, we need to consult all the stakeholders in this regard,” Gupta told Justice Midha.