Coronavirus: City-based NGO asks Hyderabad police to suspend breathalyzers

Hyderabad: In the wake of Coronavirus, concerns are arising among the public on the feasibility of using breathalyzers for the drunken-driving test. A city-based NGO, Vaada Foundation has written to Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad demanding a suspension id the use of breathalyzers used in drunken driving.

P Suresh Kumar, Founder, Vaada Foundation said, “The use of breathalyzers in the current scenario is highly unhygienic and can be one of the avenues through which the virus can spread to a lot of people. Not to mention, this can even put the life of the officers who handle these machines at risk as well.”
Meanwhile, traffic officials said drunk drivers in the city are refusing to go through the breathalyzer test citing concerns about Coronavirus infection.

Earlier this week, the traffic personnel conducting checks at Madhapur were in for a shock when some drivers refused to take the drunk-driving test. On Saturday night, traffic officials from Madhapur traffic police station of Cyberabad commissionerate in the city were conducting drunk-driving checks. After checking a few vehicles, a group of youngsters, all on motorbikes, approached the checkpoint. When the traffic personnel asked them to take the test, they refused.

The youngsters said the cops have been using the same device and detachable to conduct check for all motorists passing through the stretch. As a result, if anyone of them had an infection, it could spread to other motorists. When the traffic personnel asked them to take the breathalyzer test, they refused and started troubling the cops. The officials, however, convinced the drivers to take the test. A couple of them tested positive for blood alcohol, while others tested negative and were let off.

The traffic officials said drunk drivers have been creating excuses to evade checks ever since the breathalyzer test was introduced. However, they have been conducting routine checks to ensure that no drunk person is behind the wheels, thereby saving the lives of both the drunk drivers and other motorists on the road.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary ‘Still I Rise’, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad’s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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