Chennai Police have begun cracking down on autorickshaw drivers driving under the influence of alcohol and those causing nuisance to passengers.

Police had intensified vigil against drunk driving in the city over the past few months,

Police teams involved in routine vehicle checks in different parts of the city are now tasked with stopping autorickshaws on suspicion and carrying out blood alcohol level checks on the spot. Violators will have to pay heavy fines (over Rs. 1,000) and their licence may be suspended, Commissioner of Police, S. George, said.

Complaints of drivers overcharging and harassing passengers have been piling up.

The State government set up complaint lines (9003130103 and 7418503430) for passengers after meters were made compulsory in autorickshaws.

At least, 10 text messages of complaint about auto drivers fleecing passengers are received on each of the numbers every day. From last Sunday, the police have started pasting helpline numbers on autorickshaws to spread awareness of the drive.

Drivers not plying by meter were slapped with fines starting at Rs.100. Vehicles of drivers repeating the violation were impounded after law and order police personnel joined the meter regulation drive, which has been on for over a month now.

“Apart from penalising drivers, our personnel have been interacting with passengers, especially women to collect their feedback,” said Mr. George.