The cold-blooded murder of a 22-year-old toll collector by a drunk driver recently has once again brought the issue of drunken driving to the fore.
This is not an isolated incident. In August, a head constable was beaten up by six drunken youths near SRS Mall when he was enquiring about an accident in which they were involved.
There has been a significant rise in drunken driving cases in the city. In 2010, the police had issued 7,462 challans, while, in 2011 (till September 30), the figure has almost reached 10,500.
According to police officials, accidents involving drunken driving have also increased. Till September 2011, 646 fatal accidents took place on city roads. “In majority of these cases, motorists were driving under the influence of alcohol,” said a police official.
In 2008, three teenagers were killed when their car overturned and smashed into a divider on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. The teens were returning from a party at Samrat Hotel in Delhi.
The city police force, which is facing severe staff shortage, has failed to curb the menace, though it puts its best foot forward by launching occasional drives. Besides, easy availability of liquor, thanks to hundreds of vends that dot the highway, has worsened the situation.
As bar timing is strictly enforced in Delhi, tipplers from the Capital and elsewhere throng these outlets. Incidents like drunken youth creating traffic chaos on Gurgaon’s main roads after sundown is a common sight.
Although the department has deployed personnel equipped with breath analysers on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and near pubs on MG Road, it has failed to deter violators.
Apart from about 200 liquor vends, 67 ahatas (authorised drinking places) and bars in Gurgaon, there are also a number of illegal joints along highway where commuters can easily get a drink.
However, the police say they are doing their best to control such incidents. “We are aware that alcohol is a major cause of accidents in the city. But, we have taken all the necessary steps to check this,” said SS Deswal, Gurgaon police commissioner.