Your habit of drinking and driving could land you in jail for up to four years along with a fine of Rs 10,000.
The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the long pending changes in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2007 that proposes stringent fine and enhanced jail term for driving under the influence of liquor. Currently, a person has to pay R2,000 fine and/or face a few days of imprisonment for drunk driving. The amendment has to be cleared in the Lok Sabha next.
The amendment proposes punishment based on alcohol content found in blood during alcometer checks carried out by traffic police during drives against drunk driving.
As per the proposed changes, depending on the blood alcohol level (ranging from 30mg to 150 mg alcohol per 100ml of blood), the jail term will range from a minimum of six months to a maximum of two years. Subsequent offences can end with an offender spending up to four years in jail.
The monetary fine, too, has been proposed to increase from R2,000 to up to R5,000 and for subsequent offences, one can be slapped a fine of R10,000.
"This move should jolt the habitual drunk drivers, who are currently fined only R2,000 and/or face a few days of
imprisonment. A strong MV Act can definitely create a massive fear psychosis among drunk drivers," said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
The police officer also hoped that the stringent provisions can rid the city of the menace which results in road accidents and loss of precious lives.
Garg said Delhi traffic police's e-challan project — slated to start next month — will help the authorities to keep a tab on repeat offenders.
"The hand held device gives access to database, enabling them to know if the driver caught with alcohol content has a history of drunk driving," he said.
In 2011, traffic authorities prosecuted 18,073 drunk drivers, of which about 3,000 people were sent to jail. In 2012, till April, already 7,766 drunk drivers have been prosecuted with 2,361 of them sent behind bars.