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Drink driving

Kolkata bars take initiative to curb drink-driving cases

Several establishments offer valet services and even arrange cabs for customers

Bishwabijoy Mitra | Published 28.12.22, 06:48 PM
Representational image

Representational image

File photograph

Bars and restaurants on Park Street are offering valets and cab services to customers to check drink-driving.

Kolkata Police arrested 207 offenders on Christmas night, 109 of them for drink-driving. The number may be fewer than past years, but it still makes up for more than 50% of the total arrests.


Varun Mimani, owner of Park Street-based Mbar and Ozora said whenever they see guests leaving in an inebriated condition, the staff members ask them if they need to drive back. In that case, the bars’ valet services are offered. “Several customers have availed this facility,” Mimani added.

Park Street-based restaurant Oasis offers cab services to guests leaving after a couple of drinks. “Cabs are always available on Park Street and in case we do not get one, we have numbers of a few cabbies,” said Pratap Dariyanani, co-owner of Oasis, adding that the main aim is to persuade people not to drive in this condition.

People are extra cautious

Following thorough police action, people are extra cautious these days. According to Dariyanani, some also come in cabs. “Some extra-cautious customers consume very little in order to drive back. This may pinch us but it’s good that people are realising the dangers of drunken driving,” he added.

Similarly, these days people also approach the restaurant authorities to keep their vehicles for the night in case they feel they are not in a condition to drive. Asif Ahmed, owner of Sanjha Chula on EM Bypass, said, “During the Christmas festivities, all activities take place in and around the Park Street area. We get an after-party crowd. After pub-hopping, they visit us for food and most of them are in an inebriated condition. Since we have a huge parking lot, many ask us to keep their cars while we arrange cabs for them."

Some are abusive

When the bar and restaurant staffers approach guests with assistance to drive them home, while most guests agree, some resist and even misbehave. “Realising their state of mind, we go ahead with our job,” said Mimani.

Meanwhile, the police have expressed their gratitude to the bars and restaurants for their gesture. “Despite our raids and attempts to curb drink-driving, cases will come down only if people realise the perils of drink-driving. Meanwhile, restaurants and bars, on their part, have taken a good initiative. They are not only retaining their customer-base but are also helping the cops,” said a senior police officer.

Last updated on 28.12.22, 06:48 PM

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