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Practice of drunken driving continues

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Test:A traffic policeman using a Digital Alcohol Computer to check whether the driver is drunken.
Test:A traffic policeman using a Digital Alcohol Computer to check whether the driver is drunken.

Over 300 cases booked against drunken driving in a special drive , writes R. Rajaram

TIRUCHI: A 48-hour special drive by the City Police last week-end exclusively against drunken driving resulted in the booking of over 300 cases.

On the instruction of the Commissioner of Police, K. Vanniaperumal, the drive was carried out simultaneously at different spots in the city by police personnel attached to the Law and Order, Crime and Traffic Wings, and special units.

Fine amount totalling over Rs. 3 lakh was collected within that short period from the offenders, most of whom were two-wheeler riders. Persistence of this offence is a cause for immense concern to the law enforcers.

The sheer number of drunken driving cases booked by the law enforcers within the city limits and across the Central Zone, comprising eight districts, is a clear pointer to its continuing trend despite the punishment in the form of imposition of fines.

Over the last four-and-half months alone this year, the City Police had booked as many as 2,285 drunken driving cases and realised Rs. 22.85 lakh as fine amount from the violators.

The number of cases booked till now this year across the Central Zone comprising Tiruchi Rural, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Pudukottai, Karur, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts is 5,895.

Driving under the influence of alcohol not only endangers the rider, but could also pose a serious threat to the rule abiding motorist.

“Driving requires a clear mind and vision besides excellent limbs coordination. Driving in inebriated condition causes impairment of vision and quick decision making; the lack of coordination between hands and legs- all of which could cause accidents,” says M.A. Aleem, Head of Department and Professor, Department of Neurology, K.A.P. Viswanatham Government Medical College, Tiruchi. Though four-wheeler drivers do get caught on drunken driving charge, it is the two-wheeler riders who, however, form the bulk of the violators.

Transport Department authorities here say they had received recommendations from the City Police for temporarily suspension of the driving licences of those against whom drunken driving cases had been booked.

A senior official here said show cause notices had been issued through the Regional Transport Office, Tiruchi to many such tipsy violators seeking explanation from them prior to suspension of their licence. Government statistics reveal that driving licences of over 5,500 persons across the State had been suspended in the 2009-10 financial year, while the licences of 755 persons had been cancelled during the same period.

The best way to drive home the message of safe driving and the hazards of drunken driving is by including road safety as part of the school curriculum, points out Dr. Aleem.

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