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If you drive drunk, Delhi-NCR cops know thy excuse

Planning to party hard this New Year’s Eve? Remember that on your way back, the traffic cops waiting to nab offenders are armed with body cameras, breathalysers and zero tolerance.

delhi Updated: Dec 31, 2018 12:04 IST
Naina Arora and Ruchika Garg
Naina Arora and Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times
Delhi,Gurugram,New Years Eve
Traffic cops are on high alert to deal with offenders and excuses on New Year’s Eve.(Shivam Saxena/HT)

The New Year cheer has set in. But just as you make plans to celebrate the event, cops plan it differently. As we look forward to a fun night, dancing away to glory, cops brace themselves to deal with rash drivers who are ignorant and rude, too. And if you think you can make excuses and get away, think twice as the cops know thy excuse, before you make it!

It’s not easy to believe or understand what all a cop has to go through during the party season. Due to frequent scuffles between cops and drivers, body cameras are given to policemen in Gurugram. Himanshu Garg, DCP (Traffic), Gurugram Police, says, “There have been instances [of misbehaviour] where we had to get cases registered. Recently, a man in Gurugram attacked a traffic policeman and dragged him for around 100 metres on the bonnet of his car. The person drove the vehicle while the policeman was trying to stop him...We are in the process of procuring more body cameras which will be issued to all policemen deployed in such drives, to increase transparency during the challan process. So, if a policeman is misbehaving, it’ll be recorded on the camera, and if a citizen is misbehaving that’ll also be recorded on the camera.”

Many people try to cheat the breathalyser by filling their mouth with fresh air and then exhaling. But cops say such tricks don’t work any longer. ( Shivam Saxena/HT )
Breathe in or out?

Many people try to cheat the breathalyser by filling their mouth with fresh air and then exhaling. But cops say such tricks don’t work any longer. “Mentos, all sorts of elaichi (cardamom), peanut butter and digene are passé. If they play smart while blowing, we take them to the hospital for blood and urine test. Most of them are not aware that we are capable of taking them to the hospital, they quit arguing with us as soon as they know this,” says Madhur Verma, DCP (New Delhi) Delhi Police.

U-turn saves

“I am a party lover. Drinking and driving is normal for me. I generally know barricaded areas and locations and try to avoid them. But it’s not always possible to avoid the zones, especially on the days of festivals and occasions when the drive gets stronger. To maine iska bhi jugaad nikal liya. Ya to ek dam tameez se car chalao, ya U-turn le lo. And when you take a U-turn, drive faster, varna to fas gaye!” says Pulkit Sharma, a college student.

Offenders think this stunt can work as it’s winter and visibility is low. But, don’t forget that cops work in teams. “Most violators try to take advantage of foggy weather. They either take a U-turn or detour to avoid a challan or fine. Sometimes, in a rush, they hit the barricades, risking the cop’s and their own life while running away,” says Vijayanta Arya, additional DCP (South Delhi).

Jai Singh, ACP (law and order, traffic), Gurugram Police, adds, “In winter, the force is supposed to be extra cautious. Due to fog, people don’t just argue but try to escape from the police naka. If anyone tries to escape, we send a message to other cops by whistling, shouting or through wireless.”

Know who I am?

Delhiites are infamous for the following lines: “Tu janta hai mera baap kaun hai” and “Chacha vidhayak hai hamare”. Guess who have heard them the most? Cops! “Delhi boys, especially youngsters, love to show off their contacts. First they try to persuade us ki jaane do, kyun phone milvate ho? When we refuse, they call our seniors, ministers and lawyers,” says Manbir Yadav, a traffic cop.

But thankfully, this is not how the story ends. Now, cops know how to deal with such people. “When they make a call, in the meantime ham challan kaat dete hai. Ab koi kuch bhi bolta rahe,” adds Yadav.

Some Delhiites admit influential contacts are their go-to solution. Mohan Bhardwaj, a Delhiite, says, “We were coming back from a party and got caught by the cops. One of my friends in the car was in a government department and he contacted someone in the crime branch. Reference works at times but not always. We were lucky that day.”

Persuasive skills

Some even use the art of convincing to escape the fine. Does that work? Nope.

Rajive Nandwani, a Road Safety Officer, Gurugram, tells us: “Offenders try to persuade us by saying ‘Please leave me, I got drunk because my girlfriend left me’, ‘I was kicked out of my job’, ‘Today is my birthday, so please let us enjoy. My birthday gift is you not issuing my challan’ or ‘We know you care for our safety, so please give me your mobile number, we’ll call you once we reach home’. But I’m used to these lines.”

Sharing a similar anecdote, Hitesh Yadav, ACP (East), Gurugram Police, says, “Once they [violators] are caught, they try to influence the cops. People request us saying ‘Please leave us’. Then they start arguing. But, we are trained to not to get into
arguments. We aren’t supposed to be provoked. If people try to create a ruckus, we try to ease it out. During festivities, where people booze heavily, we ensure that [venues] don’t operate beyond the permissible time limit.”

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First Published: Dec 31, 2018 12:03 IST