If you are caught driving when you are drunk, you may have to spend at least six months in jail.
The home department on Monday proposed to increase the minimum jail term for drink driving to six months. This was the maximum punishment for the offence. This will mean an amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act, requiring the Centre’s nod.
This move comes two days after an allegedly drunk 27-year-old, Nooria Haveliwala, crashed her Honda CRV into a police jeep and a motorbike killing the biker Afzal Akbar and a traffic police sub-inspector Dinanath Shinde.
The home department has also proposed to increase the fine from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. A person caught for the offence the second time will have to give up his or her driving licence.
“Drunken driving was a rampant issue that we have brought under control since 2007. But these sporadic incidents, which take innocent lives, have forced us to propose the strengthening of the law further by making the punishment stricter,” said Home Minister R. R. Patil.
The law will not spare foreign nationals either. If found guilty, their cases will be reported to their embassies and they will be barred from driving in Maharashtra.
Starting December 31, 2007 the state government has lodged 43,699 cases of drink driving. Of these, 21,942 have faced simple imprisonment of eight days with fines of Rs 5,000 each.
The government has recovered Rs 8.66 crore as fines in these cases.