Six months after the police began to clamp down on those driving cars after consuming alcohol, a raft of cases has been booked.
“From the beginning of this year till July 15, a total of 32,000 drunken driving cases have been booked. In the last two months, 4,000 licences were suspended,” said a senior police officer.
Most of these cases were booked in south and west Chennai. “Adyar, Tambaram, Velachery and Anna Nagar top the list of areas where drunken driving is rife,” said the officer.
Earlier this year, the transport department had asked the police to consider driving under the influence of alcohol as dangerous driving.
The transport department has asked its officials to take action under sections 184 (driving dangerously), 185 (drunken driving) and 186 (driving when physically and mentally unfit).
Currently, the traffic police ask a motorist, suspected of drunken driving, to blow into a breathalyser. If the result shows over 30 milligrams, the vehicle is seized and the motorist is produced in the court.
The motorist’s details are then sent to the Regional Transport Office concerned, with a recommendation that his licence be either suspended or cancelled.
Earlier, first-time offenders were let off with a warning or their licenses suspended for six months.
The transport department, in its letter, had asked its officers and the police to consider cancelling the licence, instead of showing leniency.
Meanwhile, social activist A. Narayanan, a dogged campaigner for strict measures against drunken driving, said the government should have mobile courts coupled with laboratories to check for alcohol in blood and penalise the driver.
“In the road safety council meeting four years ago, such laboratories were decided to be introduced. Nothing has been done so far,” he said.