Booze and bump: Drunken driving cases increasing in Hyderabad

According to the data provided by the Cyberabad police, from 6 to 11 December, 33 persons were sent to prison for drunken driving

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  14 Dec 2021 1:42 PM GMT
Booze and bump: Drunken driving cases increasing in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: On the morning of 12 December, a software employee, suspected to be under the influence of alcohol, lost control of his car and rammed it into a divider of the flyover at Vidyanagar railway bridge. Kiran (40) had partied with his friends on Saturday night in Amberpet and stayed back there as he was drunk and couldn't drive home. He started for home in the morning of 12 December.

On 11 December at 2:30 p.m, a 28-year-old man was killed when an inebriated driver, Muduvath Mohan, rammed his vehicle into the parked auto trolley near Shivalayam Goshala in Balanagar in Medchal district. The victim was identified as Shaik Hussain, the driver of the auto trolley. He was standing near his auto that had broken down when the accident took place. Mohan was accompanied by his friend Pradeep who was also drunk.

In the early hours of 6 December, two pedestrians were killed when a speeding Porsche driven by a 25-year-old drunk man hit them in Road Number 2, Banjara Hills. According to the police, the incident took place around 1.30 a.m when the car, coming from the KBR Park side, hit the two persons while they were crossing the road in front of the Rainbow Children Hospital.

On the same day, at 1:00 p.m in another part of the city, two people travelling on a bike died when a car driven by a drunken person hit them. The accident happened on the Shankarpally-Hyderabad road near Gooncha Hills villas in Kokapet village in Ranga Reddy district. The accused person, Chittampally Sanjeeva (35), was driving under the influence of alcohol. The couple on the motorbike – Durgam Raju (37) and his wife Durgam Mounika (28) – died of their injuries.

Recently, the number of drunken driving cases has been increasing in Cyberabad. In fact, in Cyberabad, according to official statistics, drunken driving is a major cause of road accidents. "Around 30-35% of the road accidents in Cyberabad happen due to drinking and driving," says SM Vijaya Kumar, DCP traffic Cyberabad.

Santhana Selvan, a bicycle advocate in the city, feels that drunken driving poses a huge risk for cyclists and pedestrians.

DCP Vijaya Kumar feels that drinking and driving has been a general trend in Cyberabad for many years. He points out two main reasons for its prevalence. "There are many pending drunken driving (DD) cases due to shortage of courts, magistrates, etc. So, lack of quick disposal of DD cases and lack of expeditious prosecution is one reason. The second reason is that the driving license of these violators should be suspended by the transport authorities which is not being done. As a result, there is no fear of the law," he said.

Santhana also feels the need for stronger punishments for the defaulters.

The breathalyzer test which checks the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is conducted to catch the offenders. In India, 30mg/100 ml of blood is the legally permissible limit. "It's illogical to give such a permissible limit. Instead, people shouldn't be encouraged to drive at all when they are drunk in the first place," says Santhana.

He also feels that there should be innovative ways of punishment to instill fear among the public.

"But it all boils down to personal responsibility, being mindful of not just your lives but also about others. However much the government or authorities enforce measures, people have to be responsible and decide that they will not drive when they are drunk," says Santhana.

He adds, "An ideal, developed city should be one where kids are able to fearlessly cycle down to their grandmother's place or walk tension-free to the tuition centre nearby."

As per the Motor Vehicles Act, a person driving drunk or under the influence of drugs is punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term of up to six months and/or a fine which may extend to Rs. 2,000.

According to the data provided by the Cyberabad police, from 6 to 11 December, 33 persons were sent to prison for drunken driving and around 321 cases of drunken driving were disposed of during the prosecution. Of the 33 imprisoned, five were imprisoned for a day, 15 for two days, eight persons for three days, four persons for four days each, and one for five days.

The highest number of cases was disposed of in Kukatpally (56) followed by 55 each in Miyapur, Shadnagar, and Gachibowli, 52 in Madhapur, 43 in Balanagar, and five in Rajendernagar.

Also, a total fine amounting to Rs. 16,16,890 was imposed. The highest fine was imposed in Shadnagar (Rs. 3,77,300), followed by Gachibowli (Rs. 2,74,000), and Kukatpally (Rs. 2,61,000).

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