Restaurants, pubs, and permit rooms may soon have to provide chauffeur services to tipsy customers or face punitive action.
The state excise department, which is working with the traffic police to curb drink-driving accidents, has decided to bring about “qualitative changes” in its action against errant permit rooms across the city. The failure to provide chauffeur services will constitute part of the scheme of things to come, it is learnt.
Mohan Varde, excise superintendent for Mumbai city, told HT that they would try to sensitise the licensees about the dangers of drink-driving, and also take punitive action if they fail to strictly adhere to the license conditions.
“Permit rooms should serve liquors to patrons only against permits. This will now be enforced strictly. However, as part of the larger social responsibility, we would appeal to the licensee to ensure that customers are not allowed to drive after consuming alcohol,” Varde said.
“To begin with it will be in the form of an appeal. Subsequently, we have plans to make it mandatory for these joints to provide chauffeur service to customers if they decide to drive their
vehicles on their own. Violators may face suspension of their license since an inebriated motorist could be a public nuisance and detrimental to
public safety as well,” he added.
Apart from this, the excise department will also urge the licensees to ensure that only qualified persons (of or above the age of 21—for beer consumption—and 25 for hard liquor) are served alcohol.
“It is not difficult to ascertain someone’s age. In case of doubt, the permit rooms can always ask for some kind of proof of age. They should take the required precautions before serving liquor. Violators will not be tolerated,” Varde said.