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Check on drunken driving from next week

Staff Reporter
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Latest analysers can determine alcohol percentage in the breath and provide printout too.
Latest analysers can determine alcohol percentage in the breath and provide printout too.

Tipsy vehicle drivers will henceforth be paying hefty penalties and also face the prospect of being jailed for two months, as the traffic police have decided to invoke Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act. The anti-drunken driving initiative would start from next week, Additional CP C.V. Anand said here on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Anand said invoking stringent sections of law is now possible with the police acquiring sophisticated analysers, which determine the alcohol percentage in the breath and provide a printout too. The earlier analysers only flashed red or green lights indicating presence or no presence of alcohol.

As the percentage of alcohol could not be determined, the traffic police used to penalise drivers under Section 184 (B) of the MV Act, which stipulates a penalty of Rs. 500 or so. This section of law is primarily meant to deal with rash driving, while 185 deals with drunken driving. In addition to the penalty of Rs. 1,000, cases would also be registered against the driver and the court could further impose a fine up to Rs. 2,000 with or without a two-month jail term.

RS-10 project

The latest breath analysers have been supplied to the traffic wing by the World Health Organisation (WHO) under Road Safety 2010 (RS-10) project launched as part of Global Road Safety Partnership initiative.

“Along with 10 breath analysers, we have also received 220 digital cameras, 300 barricades, 550 reflective jackets and 450 LED batons till date. Twelve more analysers will be supplied shortly,” Mr. Anand said.

“Most road accidents occur during the weekends and we will conduct special drives during these days, especially in the areas that have more bars and pubs,” he said.

The RS-10 project is being financed by the Bloomberg Philanthropics and has collaboration with John Hopkins University. Apart from receiving the equipment, traffic police personnel are also undergoing a four-day training session conducted by Australian Police official, Des Myers.

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