Even as there has been a decrease in drink-driving accidents in Maharashtra since 2007, the menace has seen a steady rise in Mumbai. This is despite the action undertaken by the Mumbai traffic police, who fine over 15,000 people for drink driving every year, according to sources.
In 2007, the Mumbai traffic police started special drives against drink driving and until last year, had arrested approximately 1.40 lakh people.
On an average, over 17,400 people have been arrested every year.
A little over Rs30 crore has been collected in fines and the licences of approximately 50,000 people were suspended by the court in this period.
In 2015, the figure rose to 18,035 people being arrested for drink driving. A total of 10, 690 people were arrested this year until May and fines amounting to Rs2.45 crore have been collected. Despite all efforts, the Mumbai traffic police have been unable to curb this menace.
The chief of Mumbai traffic police, joint commissioner Milind Bharambe said, “We conduct surprise checks. Also, we have updated our data on drunk drivers since 2008 and we immediately find out if a drunk driver is a repeated offender. We then inform the court about the same to ensure he/she gets stringent punishment.”
“We are spreading awareness on the menace through various mediums. We take campaigns, speak through the press, take help from radio channels and also counsel motorists. I also appeal to motorists to make use of other means for public transport. Avoid driving when drunk and save the lives of yours and of others.”
Another senior officer from the traffic police, on the condition of anonymity said, “There is a requirement of having surprise all-night nakabandis for curbing drunk driving between 12am to 6am. But owing to a massive manpower crunch, it’s a big challenge to do so.”