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Delhi Wine Club
Drive Drunk and Land in Jail in Delhi

Posted: Thursday, 21 April 2011 11:15

Drive Drunk and Land in Jail in Delhi

In a drive to control the menace of drunk driving, the Delhi Police has swung into action and started enforcing the relatively new law which is  prevalent in a majority of other civilised nations and has jailed over a thousand people for drunk driving and suspended licenses of over 800 during the current year, sending out a clear warning to DUI drivers to mend their ways or else..  

 ‘With most of the drunk driving cases resulting in imprisonment besides license suspension and payment of fine, better sense is expected from the people of Delhi,' Joint Commissioner of Delhi Traffic Police Satyendra Garg told reporters on Saturday after  over 300 people were arrested in three hours. 'Continuing our efforts to rein in drunk driving, we had simultaneous checking at 50 locations and got 307 prosecutions in three hours,' Garg told reporters. Out of these, 195 were arrested for drunk driving.

Drunken driving is a non-compoundable offence with those caught sent directly to the court which determines the punishment. According to police, the vehicle is impounded when there is nobody else other than the drunk driver to drive it safely to its location. Driving license is required for handing over the vehicle and the person must not have consumed liquor. The violator is not allowed to drive a vehicle once he is detected to have consumed liquor beyond permissible limits.

Delhi Police is actively campaigning against drunk driving on various forums, including social websites like Facebook. A message posted by Garg on Delhi Traffic Police's Facebook page Friday read: 'The other day a friend of mine surprised me with the revelation that I owed him Rs.10,000. Totally clueless, I asked him to elaborate and he said the other day he had a few drinks in a 5-star hotel and then realised he risked being caught with possibility of DL and jail term. He decided to hire a room and spend a sum which he thought we cost him.'

Over 5,000 people have been challaned  (ticketed)in Delhi this year on charges of drunk driving with 831 landing in jail. According to Delhi police stats, there has been a 250% rise in prosecution in the first three months this year compared to the same period last year-5,017 prosecutions compared to 1,927 till March end in 2010.

"There are a large number of cases of drunk drivers ramming their vehicles into the central verge, poles or trees and killing themselves. There have been cases of the combination of speed and drunk driving.”

The law was made strict in September last year as it recognized that driving under the influence of alcohol poses a serious danger to others on the road as well as to co-passengers and the driver. The maximum punishment now is a 6-month jail term plus a fine of Rs 2,000 for the first offence; second offence lands you in jail for up to  two-years with a fine of Rs 3,000 ($70).

The police hope that imprisonment for drunker driving will be a big deterrent. ``We are not taking it casually and we hope people won’t take it casually either,`` says Garg. ``Many of the fatal accidents are a result of drunken driving but intensive checking this year has reduced these accidents by 51%,`` according to a news headline report by the national daily, TOI yesterday.

An alcohol level in the blood of more than 0.03 gms of alcohol constitutes drunken driving in most countries, though the earlier liberal standard of 0.08 gms is still prevalent in some countries. Usually, imprisonment can be awarded to anyone found with more than 0.03gm of alcohol but is usually awarded to those registering over 0.1gms.’It`s the court’s assessment but most given jail terms of 10 days or more had consumed more than 0.15 gms,’ according to a traffic officer who added that people often don’t realize that they are driving after drinking too much. ‘Many people we have caught have claimed that they were returning from an office party or family celebration and didn’t realize that one drink can land them in such trouble,’ he added.

DelWine and Indian Wine Academy are avid supporters of the law. DUI (Driving Under Influence) is considered a major offence elsewhere and it is time the drunk drivers get their due punishment. Strict enforcement of the law will act as a deterrent and will keep the drunk drivers under check. Cities like Mumbai apparently already enforce the law which is a state subject. One hopes other states will follow suit. Delhi Police deserves kudos and the gratitude of citizens of Delhi and one hopes it is not a mere drive but becomes a permanent practice.

It is our understanding that up to 2 glasses of wine consumed slowly with food, keeps you under the legal limits and perfectly safe and alert for driving. If you drink more, please choose a Designated Driver, hire a cab or a driver for the evening out- Editor



Rishi Vohra, CSW Says:

It's about time that such a law was put into effect, and hats off to the Delhi Police for implementing it. However, one of the major perils on the roads of India today are highway truck drivers, who drive drunk through the night. They endanger not only their lives, but those of others as they are operating such a huge vehicle and a slight loss of control could and has proven devastating. I hope that the authorities find a way to crackdown on these drivers, and somehow educate them and their companies.

Posted @ April 21, 2011 19:24


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