The Delhi Police hope to get more teeth to their effort to curb the menace of drunk driving, thanks to Supreme Court’s landmark judgement on Thursday. The apex court ordered that causing death due to drunk driving should be treated as ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’, a non-bailable offence for which maximum punishment is 10 years of imprisonment.
“As the apex court’s judgement becomes a precedent, it is expected to act as a deterrent and the motorists of Delhi would think twice before mixing drink and drive,” said a senior traffic police officer. The current practice of the accused walking away after formal arrest will be a matter of past, he added.
“With an increased emphasis on imprisonment for drunk driving which resulted into imprisonment of about 3,000 people last year, the new judgement would be a deterrent to all those who intend to drink and drive,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
About 2,000 drunk drivers faced suspension of driving licenses during 2011.
“The stricter stance of Supreme Court would bring a positive change in the mindset of drunk drivers. This will result in a drop by at least 40 to 50% of road accident caused due to drunk driving,” viewed KK Kapila, chairman, International Road Federation, a non-profit organisation working for better transport system and roads.
Police said that drunk driving is one of the prime reasons of road accidents on city roads.
“Government’s law department will examine the apex court’s judgement and once this becomes a law, we will strictly follow this,” said Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson of Delhi police.