Delhiites welcome every new year in high ‘spirits’. And this year was no different. This, despite stringent steps taken by the Delhi Traffic Police to curb drink driving.
The year 2012 was ushered in with a nearly 50% rise in prosecution for drink driving compared to last year in the city alone. The traffic police caught a total of 504 people driving under the influence of liquor.
At the start of 2011, 340 people had been prosecuted for drink driving during new year celebrations. In 2010, only 188 people were challaned for this offence, state the statistics of the Delhi Police.
Then came Gurgaon, where 133 people were challaned by the Gurgaon police for driving drunk. Three of them were sent to jail for driving dangerously under the influence of alcohol on Saturday. Most of these prosecutions happened near toll bridge, IFFCO Chowk, MG Road and DLF areas during the new year celebration.
According to Delhi Traffic Police’s data, in 2011, a total of 16,800 people were challaned for driving drunk against 10,600 people in 2010. In 2009, the Delhi Traffic police had prosecuted 12,784 people for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic) said, “A total of 624 challans were issued during the New Year drive in which 20 were prosecuted for dangerous driving. We challaned 222 cars or taxis for various offences while the number for two-wheelers was 263.”
According to Garg, a total of 133 vehicles were impounded by them during the drive. The drivers of the impounded vehicles were sent home in autorickshaws or in radio cabs.
“Fortunately, like 2009 and 2010, no fatal accidents were reported on the New Year’s eve. But curiously this time, drink driving prosecution was much higher than last year’s figure despite our campaigning. Despite nearly 3,000 people being awarded jail term this year for drink driving, there was a steep rise of around 50% in prosecution for this offence over last year’s figure,” said Garg.
The licences of the 3,000 motorists were either seized for sometime or suspended.
Notably, the Delhi Traffic Police had launched several drives in 2011 to curb cases of drink driving. This included making people aware about the hazards of drink driving and taking stern action against those found violating the traffic rule.