The Telegraph
Monday , March 25 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Holi lens on drink driving

Ride high on Holi spirit, but keep the hic-hic spirit low.

The East Singhbhum district traffic department has decided to act tough on drink driving to curb road mishaps in the run-up to Holi.

Starting Monday, special drives will be carried out across the city to nab those drivers, who take to the roads in blatant violation of the permissible alcohol limit. The crackdown will go on till March 28, when Holi will be celebrated. Police sources said areas like Sakchi, Bistupur, Kadma and Sonari would be under the scanner of traffic personnel for the next few days.

“We are very serious about the issue of reining in drink driving as it is the one of the major reasons behind the rise in road mishaps during festivals. We are also issuing a general appeal to all people, urging them not to drive any vehicle — be it two-wheelers or four-wheelers — under the influence of alcohol,” said deputy superintendent of police (traffic) Rakesh Mohan Sinha.

The permissible limit for consumption of alcohol while driving is 30mg per 100ml of blood. According to Sinha, offenders will not only be fined, but the vehicles will be also seized and released only the next day with a warning. The fine amount is Rs 2,000 in keeping with the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act.

Punishment includes imprisonment for six months, which can increase to three years, along with a penalty of Rs 3,000, if the offence is repeated.

The traffic personnel will be armed with a breathalyser as they go about screening the vehicles during the drive.

“We will borrow the breathalyser from the health department. We have already requested the office of the district civil surgeon to provide us the gadget,” Sinha said.

This apart, patrol teams of different police stations have been asked to remain on vigil.

“Apart from using breathalyser, policemen will also sniff out whether a person is driving under the influence of alcohol. They will have to remain vigilant and stop people they suspect to be in an inebriated condition and then verify the same. Blood sample of such persons will be tested. If the alcohol content in blood exceeds 30mg/100ml of blood, he will be punished under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act,” Sinha added.

Will the traffic crackdown help rein in inebriated drivers?