After the traffic police caught a motor training school driver driving in an inebriated state on Friday, the next day they arrested an ambulance driver for the same crime.
“Maine piya tha, galti ho gayi (I had consumed liquor, I committed a mistake),” ambulance driver Prakash Salve (30) told the Kurla metropolitan magistrate on Monday.
But Senior Inspector S. Pawar, of the Trombay traffic police, argued: “The lives of patients depend on an ambulance driver and if he drives in an inebriated state how will he be able to transport them safely for treatment.”
The magistrate heard the arguments and sentenced Salve to three months’ simple imprisonment and his cleaner Rajesh Verma to jail for two days for abetment.
The magistrate also suspended Salve’s driving licence for six months and fined him Rs 3,000.
On Saturday, Salve was driving a body from Ahmednagar to Mumbai in a privately-owned ambulance, that is often hired by Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar.
Around 11 am, Salve and Verma headed for a bar, where Salve drank alone.
Around 4.30 pm, Salve crashed into an Indica on the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road. The car driver, Nasir Qazi, found Salve reeking of alcohol and immediately called the traffic police.
He was soon apprehended and when he was administered a breath analyzer test, Salve’s blood-alcohol level was found to be 498 mg/100ml of blood.
The police also arrested Verma for abetment under Section 188 of the Motor Vehicles Act, as he was aware that Salve was driving under the influence of alcohol but did not stop him.