The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered notice on a writ petition seeking a direction to authorities, including Police and Transport departments, to ensure that those who visit TASMAC shops and bars are prevented from taking the wheel after drinking.

Occasional checks

The First bench, comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam, ordered notice on a petition filed by A. Narayanan of Virugambakkam here who is the trustee of Sevaman Trust and Editor and Publisher of Paadam, a Tamil monthly magazine. Mr. Narayanan submitted that the police periodically released press statements on booking of persons for drunk-driving. Occasional checks were being done. These were just statistics for the purpose of record.

It was an open secret that everyday thousands of men all over the State parked their vehicles in front of liquor shops and drove away after drinking.

If the police were serious about implementing the rule of law, all of them must those who drove after drinking at the bars should be booked on the spot for drunk-driving.

The petitioner said the number of licences cancelled, suspended and action taken against drunk drivers was not adequate and commensurate with the number of violations.

Cause for fatal accidents

According to a WHO study, drunk-driving was the cause for 44 to 67 per cent of fatal accidents.

The petitioner also prayed the court for a direction to authorities to affix labels on liquor bottles that drunk-driving was against the law. Violators should be prosecuted swiftly.