The fact that the reports of breathalysers, which are used by the traffic police to test for drink driving, are not admissible evidence in court, has led to a large number of motorists escaping punishment.
To be used only to help the policemen on duty ascertain whether the driver has consumed alcohol, the suspicion has to be backed by a blood test for the case to hold up in court.
Lawyers say that when people are caught for drink driving during police nakabandis, the persons are not subjected to blood tests and are booked only on the basis of the breathalyser test. “I have contested cases where the persons were acquitted as there was no blood report. A breathalyser result does not provide conclusive evidence and hence the persons are allowed to walk free,” said Satish Maneshinde, a criminal lawyer.
But traffic officials argue that conducting blood tests in each case is impractical, and getting better breathalysers would provide concrete supplementary evidence against the offender.
A senior official in the procurement department of the director general of police’s office said the police are in the process of procuring new breathalysers with cameras, a tender for which was floated earlier this year.
“It will have an inbuilt camera, flash and printer. It will print name of driver, his address, the officer’s name, and alcohol content, thereby creating an official record. However, they have not been procured despite problems with several of the 250 already present with the traffic police,” said a senior official.