Despite all the posters, campaigns and random checks, many Mumbaiites insisted on driving drunk this New Year’s Eve, with the traffic police registering a high of 860 such cases on December 31.
Fifty-seven of these offenders were sentenced to simple imprisonment for terms ranging from two days to 17 days.
“This time around, we saw a significant rise in the number of drink-driving cases registered in the central suburbs.
Many people booked in areas like Mulund, Chembur and Vikhroli were found to be residents of Thane and Navi Mumbai,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Nandkumar Chougule. “Many of them had come to the city to drink and were caught on their way home, along the Eastern Express Highway.”
About 56% of those penalised were between the ages of 20 and 30. The number of people booked for drink driving on New Year’s Eve has risen every year, going from 338 in 2007 to 544 in 2008 and 721 in 2009.
Friday’s traffic police drive, which began at 11pm and ended at 5am on Saturday, focused on 50 traffic points across the city, where policemen armed with breathalysers checked motorists for alcohol consumption.
In all, 630 two-wheeler riders and 178 four-wheeler drivers were found to have consumed more than the legal limit. Rs 24 lakh was collected in fines.