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Chandigarh: Tipsy drivers beware or lose your licence for six months

The traffic wing of the Chandigarh police has already written to the court to enforce strict punishment against the defaulters, which includes imprisonment along with fine.

punjab Updated: Dec 03, 2017 23:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Drunken driving,drink and drive,Chandigarh police
Traffic police checking drunk driving on the road separating Sectors 23 and 24 in Chandigarh on Saturday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

If you are attending a wedding and later plan to get behind the wheel, think twice before getting tipsy.

With the wedding season in full swing, Chandigarh Police went in an overdrive and challaned 69 drunk drivers during a two-hour drive on Friday night. Those fined may also lose their driving licence for six months.

The traffic police had put up eight nakas and pressed into service a mobile naka team to check drunk driving in the city.

A senior official said they are also planning to increase the frequency of nakas in the wake of festivities around New Year.

The traffic wing of the UT police has already written to the court to enforce strict punishment against the defaulters, which includes imprisonment along with fine.

“We have been holding these nakas on a regular basis, specially on Wednesday and weekends,” said a senior official, who did not wish to be named. “But now we plan to increase the frequency.”

What law says

According to the Motor Vehicles Act, the drunk driver can be awarded six months jail or ₹2,000 fine or both for the first offence, while there is a provision for two years jail or ₹3,000 fine or both for second or subsequent offence within three years of the previous offence.

Chandigarh courts have been mostly sentencing the drunk drivers till the rising of the court, but now besides jail police have also started recommending suspension of driving licences, according to the recommendations of the Supreme Court’s road safety committee.

The panel has issued instructions to all states and UTs to suspend licences of drunk drivers for a period not less than three months. The penalty is imposed under the Motor Vehicle Act and Central Motor Vehicles Rules. The licence is sent back to the registered address of the violator after the completion of the period of suspension through registered post.

Cops stay one step ahead

To counter tech-savvy residents who have been using social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook to dodge drunk driving nakas, the UT police have been using mobile teams for random checking. These nakas keep changing every hour. Instead of moving barricades to these locations, cops just park their vehicles on the road. The department has also procured 50 new breath analysers.

Challans this year

Soon after the Supreme Court had relaxed the highway liquor ban on August 30, the traffic police on September 14 had set a record for most challans for drunk driving in a single day. As many as 157 people, including two women, were fined and their vehicles impounded. Earlier in April, 147 challans were issued on a single day. Even on Holi, when hooliganism is at its peak, 90 challans were issued.

What is the safe limit

In India, the permissible blood alcohol content is set at 0.03% per 100ml blood. That works out to 30mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.

Figures will vary for everyone, but for ready reference, an average male weighing about 65kg can theoretically stay within the legal limit if he consumes two pints of beer (equivalent to 660ml), or one large whiskey peg (60ml), or two glasses of wine (200ml).

The body takes about an hour to process 29.5ml of alcohol. Since every type of liquor has a different alcohol content, to be able to drive again without your reason and coordination being affected by it, you must wait for at least 90 minutes after a pint of beer and three hours after a large whisky or two glasses of wine.

First Published: Dec 03, 2017 12:02 IST