“You can drink till five in the morning.”
Coming from Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil, who is often dubbed the city’s moral police, these words may come as a pleasant surprise. There are strings attached though.
The home department headed by Patil on Monday gave a formal go-ahead to extend deadlines for pubs, clubs and restaurants in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and beyond from 1.30 am to 5 am on Christmas and New Year after requests poured in from hotel owners. These places will now be able to sell alcohol to patrons till 5 am.
“People can celebrate and drink at the close of the year. The deadlines for these days are extended every year. It’s nothing new,” said Patil.
He warned that the police would be on alert to catch drunk drivers on New Year. “Make sure you are not behind the wheels after drinking,” said Patil.
The police are likely to use all the 40 breath analysers on December 31 to curb drunken driving accidents. The home department has also ordered for 60 additional breath analysers for the police in the future.
To avoid instances of molestation or eve teasing, the police have worked out a plan to segregate couples from singles, said Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order) KL Prasad. This means stags will be herded to different enclosures from couples at public places like at the Gateway of India, Girgaum chowpatty, etc.
Another thing that the police will not allow is noise post midnight. So, your Christmas and New Year celebrations can’t be too loud. All public performances will have to wind down by 12 am after the noise pollution deadline was relaxed from 10 pm to 12 am. If you keep at it, the police will walk in and down the shutters on your party.