Terming drunken driving a "menace" to society, the Supreme Court has said that people driving vehicles under the influence of alcohol should not get away with minor punishment and fine.
"Every day drunken driving results in accidents and several human lives are lost; pedestrians in many of our cities are not safe. Late night parties among urban elite have now become a way of life followed by drunken driving," Justice S Radhakrishanan said.
The court's made the critical remarks in its verdict in the infamous BMW hit-and-run case, convicting 34-year-old Sanjeev Nanda under the stringent provision of culpable homicide not amounting to murder for mowing down six people, including three policemen, with his car on Lodhi Raod in South Delhi in 1999.
Justice Radhakrishanan said such incidents are bound to increase as there is no safety for pedestrians on roads.
"Punishment meted out to a drunken driver is at least a deterrent for other such persons getting away with minor punishment and fine. Such incidents are bound to increase with no safety for pedestrians on the roads," the court.
The court also said that hospitals situated near highways should be equipped with all facilities to tackle emergency situations and to provide immediate medical attention to road mishap victims.