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Christmas 2022

Kolkata witnesses surge in drink driving on Christmas Eve

67 motorists were prosecuted for the offence on Saturday night and early Sunday compared to 25 last year, say Kolkata Traffic Police

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 26.12.22, 07:55 AM
For representational purposes

For representational purposes

iStock photograph

The number of drink driving prosecutions in Kolkata on Christmas Eve night went up almost three times compared to what it was last year.

Police said 67 motorists were prosecuted for the offence on Saturday night and early Sunday compared to 25 last year.


Maximum violations were reported from pockets of south Kolkata followed by that on Chittaranjan Avenue in the north and on the EM Bypass, police said.

“Majority of the drink driving cases were reported in parts of south Kolkata like Shakespeare Sarani, Loudon Street, Russell Street and Camac Street, that fall under the East and South traffic guard areas,” said an officer of Kolkata police’s traffic department.

The other violations were reported in pockets of Burtolla in north Kolkata and on stretches in Pragati Maidan off the EM Bypass, Kasba and Esplanade areas.

A total of 1,199 motorists were prosecuted for traffic offences on Christmas Eve, including signal violations, dangerous driving, not wearing helmets, riding with more than one pillion rider and parking vehicles in a way that obstructs the thoroughfare and path of other vehicles.

Several police officers who were on duty on Christmas Eve said the footfall on the roads and party zones was much more compared to last year. Many who went to pubs and nightclubs hired chauffeurs, those who did not and tried to drive back on their own, faced police action.

“I knew that when I was going to a party, I would not be fit enough to drive while returning. So I called a driver. But unfortunately, one of my friends chose to drive home himself and was caught by the cops near the Southern Avenue,” said a Kasba resident.

According to Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, a person can be imprisoned for up to six months or asked to pay a fine of Rs 2,000 if alcohol exceeding 30mg per 100ml is detected in the bloodstream through a breathalyser. Second and subsequent offences can lead to imprisonment for two years or a fine of Rs 3,000.

Senior officers in Lalbazar said all the motorists and motorcyclists who were prosecuted for drink driving were taken to the respective police station, then to a hospital for medical examination and finally released in the custody of family members. The vehicles were seized which could be released only after payment of the fine to the court as a punishment for drink driving.

“Many wanted to pay the fine at the police station but as per the new directive, we are no longer allowed to collect the fine at the police station. The motorists will have to visit the court for that,” said an officer of the rank of an assistant commissioner.

Lalbazar has instructed all police stations and traffic guards not to collect fines for drink driving but ask motorists to deposit the fine at court to get back their vehicles.

Last updated on 26.12.22, 09:18 AM

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