There is more bad news for people mixing drinking with driving. The Delhi Police are now bracing to snatch away your driving licences on the spot if caught driving under the influence of alcohol.
The long-awaited Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2007, which was recently passed in the Rajya Sabha, has empowered the traffic police to suspend driving licences of those under the influence of alcohol on the spot.
“We are waiting for the bill to be passed in the Lok Sabha in the next session. With this new provision, the Delhi traffic police will instantly suspend driving licenses of all those found having alcohol in their blood beyond the permissible limit,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
The bill also proposes stricter fine and longer jail terms for drunk drivers.
As per the proposed bill, depending on the alcohol level in the blood, the jail term will range from a minimum of six months to a maximum of two years. At the same time, the subsequent offence can fetch up to a four-year jail term. The monetary fine, too, is proposed to increase from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 and subsequently, one can be slapped Rs 10,000 fine.
“With the power to seize driving rights for three months and impose stricter punishment, we would be able to keep drunk drivers off the roads, which in turn will curb road accidents to a large extent,” Garg added.
Currently, the power of suspending driving licenses of drunk drivers lies with the court. This year till date, the court has suspended driving licenses of only 469 drunk drivers, whereas the total number of drivers caught by the police for the offence was 8,500.
In 2011, traffic authorities prosecuted 18,073 drunk drivers, of which about 3,000 were sent to jail. In 2012, till April, already 7,766 drunk drivers have been prosecuted and 2,361 of them have landed behind bars.