15,440 cases of drunk driving registered in 2013
To combat the rising accident rate, mainly attributed to drunk driving, the City Police are planning to buy more breath analysers.
At present, equipped with just 14 breath analysers, police find it difficult to conduct checks on almost all arterial roads at night.
Of the 14, invariably a handful of them would be either due for service or would turn defective. In the absence of a breath analyser, police would smell the breath of motorists to detect alcohol. Under the method, police will have to invariably take the suspected motorist to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital for certifying him as drunk.
Owing to paucity of time, urine samples are taken for detecting presence of alcohol as testing of blood samples required time.
The whole process required a lot of time and manpower and it reflected on the number of cases booked.
In the printout generated by the breath analyser, if the alcohol level was more than 30 mg then the motorist is booked as drunk. City Police during 2012 registered 4,826 cases of drunk driving and it shot up to 15,440 in 2013 and in the last two months of 2014, the number of cases booked was 1,362.
During 2012, as many as 1,005 motorists were injured while 270 lives were lost. In 2013, the number of lives lost was 269 while those injured were 1147. In the last two months as many as 22 lives were lost and 125 were injured.
Police were of the opinion that at least 10 per cent of the people killed as well as injured in road accidents, especially between 7 p.m. and 12 midnight, could have been because of vehicles driven in an inebriated condition. There were cases of drunk drivers claiming the lives of others, besides getting killed.
In cases of drunk driving and drunk driving resulting in accidents, police now take steps for suspending/cancellation of the driving licence of the motorist concerned. In addition, provisions under Section 185 of Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 is invoked. Going by the accident rate and the number of people resorting to drunk driving, police decided to go in for a total crackdown, said A.K. Viswanathan, Commissioner of Police, Coimbatore City. The immediate plan was go to in for six more breath analysers and another 20 in a phased manner.
Meanwhile, a cellular service provider has also offered to sponsor some breath analysers for the city police.