A threat of a jail term on New Year Day appears to have had no impact on many Delhiites as over 500 people were prosecuted for driving under the influence of alcohol in the city while they rang in 2012, but fortunately there were no fatal cases in the accidents related to the revelry.
A total of 504 people were prosecuted for drunken driving in the city during the New Year celebrations, a steep increase of 112 from last year when 388 such cases were reported.
Though one fatal accident was reported from Ajmeri gate in which a youth was killed and another injured, police said it was not a celebration related incident but a case of overspeeding while returning home from work.
"There were no celebrations related fatal accidents. But curiously this time, the drunken driving prosecution was much higher than last year's figure despite our campaigning. 504 motorists getting caught for drunken driving is a large number, this despite nearly 3,000 people being awarded jail term in the year.
"Maybe we will have these 504 drunken drivers cool their heels in court today morning to have a Happy 2012," Satyendra Garg, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said.
Like 2009 and 2010, the year 2011 also ended without any festivity related accident. "Everybody who came out of their homes to celebrate went back home in one piece," he said.
About the increase in prosecution, he said, the city amazes one everyday.
"We thought we had done enough to make people responsible and aware about the hazards of drunken driving, but maybe people thought we will be lenient on new year madness but they were wrong. While we expected people to behave responsibly, we were prepared to haul them up if they did not behave. The better part of the celebration was that there was no festivity related accident and death," he said.
He said that one drunk driver he interacted with felt that he was sober enough to drive.
On the fatal accident, he said two youths were going to Kalyanpuri from Sadar Bazar when the accident took place.
"They were apparently overspeeding. They lost control over the motorcycle and rammed into the railing and fell on te road. A light weight vehicle which was behind them crushed one of them to death," he said.