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Want to drink? Go with a friend who doesn’t

delhi Updated: Mar 27, 2009 00:53 IST
Harish V. Nair
Harish V. Nair
Hindustan Times
Want to drink? Go with a friend who doesn’t

Visiting a pub? Very soon you could be refused booze if you do not take along a driver or a friend who is a teetotaler or one who decides not to drink, to drop you back home.

Pub owners will not allow you to drive back in a drunken state as a responsibility might be fixed on them to ensure the safety of their patron and of innocent road users. But this is, if the Delhi Government takes the advice that emerged from the Delhi High Court on Thursday seriously.

This is one of the suggestion put forward by advocate Anup J. Bhambani who has been appointed amicus curiae (lawyer appointed to assist the court) by Justice J.R. Midha who has initiated measures to end the menace of drunken driving which has claimed many lives in the capital.

The amicus has also recommended marking number plates of someone whose driver's license are suspended or revoked for alcohol offenses. “The purpose is to caution other drivers on the road and also to provide a form of social sanction against/embarrassment to offenders,” he said. The court has asked Delhi Government to take these suggestions seriously and consider their implementation. The government is to take a stand by May 1.

“Since the establishment (pub) profits from the patron, it is their responsibility to ensure safety of the patron and of innocent people on the road. Bartenders/managers can also suggest that the patron leave his or her car keys with the manager, who will ensure that the patron is allowed to drive back only if he is sober. Manager may offer to call a cab,” said Bhambani.

The Traffic Police and NGOs have been coming up with such suggestions but it is the first time a court is deliberating on it.

Other suggestions include automatic license revocation, vehicle impoundment or immobilisation. The lawyer also favoured installation of ignition interlock devices compulsory for offenders, nullifying car and health insurance in case of causing accident under influence of alcohol.