Chances of escaping the long arm of the law are bleak

Raring to go behind the wheel after downing a drink? Beware, if caught, you can land yourself in jail. The chances of escaping the long arm of the law are bleak as the City Police is equipped with around 40 breath analysers and special drives are being conducted on a regular basis to curb the dangerous trend.

A total of 67 motorists were caught by the City Traffic Police and the court sentenced to two days in jail on Monday for driving in an inebriated condition. This was the largest number of motorists sentenced to jail for ‘drunken driving’ on a single day in the State.

About a week ago, 27 motorists from the city were jailed for two days after they were caught driving under the influence of liquor.

There have been several instances of drunken drivers putting not only their own lives but also those of other road users at risk.

“A day in jail is enough to bring a change in the mindset of motorists. They would think twice before taking to the wheel after consuming liquor,” feels Police Commissioner B. Shivadhar Reddy.

“When the blood alcohol concentration is more than 30 mg/100ml, the motorist can be booked for drunken driving. The alco meter reading is admissible evidence in court and motorists do not generally contest it as the reading is taken on the spot. The motorists found guilty can be sentenced to jail from one day to six months and to pay a fine of Rs.2,000 and if caught a second time in three years, the jail sentence can extend up to three years,” Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) V. Suresh Babu said.

The total amount of fines collected by the City Police for drunken driving has gone up from Rs.43,90,800 in 2012 to Rs.62,04,200 last year. Five persons were sentenced to five days in jail last year. This year in less hardly one-and-a-half month, 1,404 cases were booked, Rs.9,01,600 collected as fines, and 94 motorists were sentenced to two days in jail.

“We have one breath analyser in each depot in the city. Our drivers are tested when they report for duty each day. They are being suspended when found under the influence of alcohol. We have also procured a computerised machine and it will be installed at the Dwaraka Bus Station complex in the near future,” RTC Regional Manager Y. Jagadeesh Babu said.

“Our head office has promised to send some hand-held breath analysers in the near future and they would be used to check drunken driving,” Deputy Transport Commissioner M. Prabhu Raj Kumar said.

More In: Visakhapatnam