Tipsy drivers back on Vizag roads: City traffic police resume drive to catch drunk drivers

The police said the breathalyser tests were stopped in March 2020 to stop the spread of Covid-19 as the tests require motorists to blow into alcometers that are exclusively used to measure the amount of alcohol in a driver's breath. The tests were resumed in December 2021 after a gap of 18 months but were again stopped in February this year due to the rising Covid-19 cases. Now, the city traffic police have decided to resume and intensify the tests.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  12 Jun 2022 11:20 AM GMT
Tipsy drivers back on Vizag roads: City traffic police resume drive to catch drunk drivers

Visakhapatnam: The Vizag traffic police have intensified their drive against drunk driving and resumed breathalyser tests following recent complaints from commuters about drunk drivers.

The police said the breathalyser tests were stopped in March 2020 to stop the spread of Covid-19 as the tests require motorists to blow into alcometers that are exclusively used to measure the amount of alcohol in a driver's breath. The tests were resumed in December 2021 after a gap of 18 months but were again stopped in February this year due to the rising Covid-19 cases. Now, the city traffic police have decided to resume and intensify the tests.

ADCP (traffic) Sk. Arifulla said they have installed barricades in 10 to 15 locations to conduct breathalyser tests. "We have been booking over 50 to 60 drunk driving cases a day for the past few days in the city. We are chalking out plans to further intensify the tests at some more locations to catch tipsy motorists and mitigate road crashes," he said.

Section 185 of the MV Act says that motorists can be booked for drunk driving if his/her blood alcohol content (BAC) is more than 30 mg per 100 ml blood. Once the motorist is caught for tipsy driving, he/she must be produced before a local court and can be fined up to Rs. 10,000 or jailed for up to six months.

Community service for drunk drivers

The district court in Vizag city asked motorists who were caught for drunk driving to perform community service – by holding placards with slogans like 'Don't Drink and Drive' or 'After Whisky Drive Risky' at traffic junctions to educate motorists.

The court has taken a serious view of drunk driving and has been asking at least 15 to 20 motorists a day for the past few days to perform community service. The motorists must perform the service at the spots where they were caught. This service would last for an hour each day for three days or three hours at a stretch in a single day, said Mr. Arifulla.

The police also confirmed that ever since Covid-induced restrictions were lifted, incidents of tipsy driving have increased considerably.

KEY POINTS

· Over 12 lakh vehicles, including 8 lakh two-wheelers, ply on city roads.

· Over 34,470 motorists were booked for drunken driving in Vizag city in 2018.

· Around 30,500 drivers were booked for drunken driving in 2019.

· Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the city police booked only over 5,000 cases of tipsy driving in 2020.

· Very few motorists were convicted of drunken driving violations in 2020.

· The majority of drunken driving cases were reported on the Beach Road stretch and Gajuwaka zone in Vizag.

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