If you plan to party late on New Year’s Eve, the Mumbai traffic police will be out to keep you company. The traffic police’s drive against drink driving will continue from 10pm on December 31 to 5am on January 1.
Armed with breathalysers, cops will be work for seven hours on the last day of the year to keep tabs on revellers taking the wheel after a drink too many.
According to traffic police officers, the step had to be taken after the government allowed hotels and restaurants to stay open till 5am on December 24, 25 and 31.
“On the night of December 31, apart from deploying more policemen on the roads, we will continue the drive against drink driving till 5am,” said Dr BK Upadhyay, joint commissioner of police, traffic. The department decided to intensify vigil on the roads after two accidents involving inebriated drivers were reported in the past week, Upadhyay said.
“We have prolonged the time of nakabandis to check for drunken drivers in the wee hours of January 1, since the deadline of hotels and bars have also been extended. Cracking down on drink driving is our priority,” said Prataprao Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police, traffic.
Despite the threat of getting caught and after several awareness programmes, people continue to drive after consuming alcohol at parties, Upadhyay said, adding most such offenders are youngsters. On Saturday night, 87 people were booked for driving drunk, said police.
On December 25, 23-year old Lalnunthari Samate lost her life after the car being driven by her friend Pradeep Shah, who had allegedly consumed alcohol, crashed on the Western express highway. Shah was allegedly trying to overtake an autorickshaw and lost control of the vehicle.
On Friday, three people travelling in an autorickshaw in Malad (West), suffered injuries after the driver, who was drunk, lost control while trying to avoid a bike coming from the opposite direction.