Chandigarh The Chandigarh traffic police has issued as many as 4,308 challans for drunken driving till July this year, which is 1,924 more than what was recorded last year around this time. Apart from that, the police recommended suspension of driving licences of 5,409 persons for driving under the influence of drink or drugs, using a mobile phone while driving and driving at a speed exceeding the specified limit, as per the date released by the Chandigarh traffic police. This is more than the total number of licences suspended during the entire last year, which was at 5,136. The recommendation of suspension is in compliance of a Supreme Court committee that had issued instructions to all states, UTs and their departments concerned to suspend the licence of a driver for a period not less than three months for the offences. The penalty is imposed under Section 19 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, read with Rule 21 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.What is worrying is that despite the strict penalty, the number of drunken driving cases has not gone down. The is a spurt in such cases especially during weekends. This weekend alone (between July 13 to 15) as many as 142 challans were issued for drunken driving. Chandigarh SSP traffic Shashank Anand said, “We don’t measure our success by the number of challans we issue but by the number of fatalities that we are able to reduce. Our target is to keep the number below 100 till the end of this year.” The city has recorded 51 road fatalities so far this year.The traffic police is also recommending that the driving licence of motorists should be suspended after the first offence itself. Currently, the license is suspended after the second offence. They are also recommending that the first offence punishment should include imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with a fine which may extend to Rs 2,000, or both. Also a drunken driving offender’s licence shall be disqualified for a period of not less than six months, a repeated offence will lead to cancellation of the driving license.