The number of cases of drink driving recorded in Kolkata and Bidhannagar on Christmas night was more than double compared with Christmas Eve.
Police said 77 motorists, including car and two-wheeler drivers, were prosecuted for drink driving on Saturday night. Of them, 57 prosecutions were reported from Kolkata and the rest from the Bidhannagar commissionerate area.
On Christmas Eve, the prosecution figures were less than half.
In Kolkata, the majority of the drink driving cases were reported from Kasba, EM Bypass, the Rashbehari and Ruby crossings, and the Park Street area.
Eleven people were prosecuted in and around Kasba and seven in the Park Street area on Saturday night.
Park Street was closed for vehicles for a few hours on Saturday evening.
A senior officer at Lalbazar said a number of motorists who were stopped on Park Street and subjected to a breathalyser screening tested positive for alcohol.
“We started the tests only after 9-9.30pm. We found many of them unwilling to undergo the test. But a little persuasion from our side convinced them,” said an officer of the East Traffic Guard, which manages the Park Street traffic.
Motorists and two-wheeler drivers, especially the ones coming out of restaurants on Park Street and Shakespeare Sarani, were made to take the breathalyser test.
They were prosecuted if the reading on the device showed alcohol content in the blood more than the limit.
Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act states a person can be imprisoned for up to six months or fined Rs 2,000 if alcohol exceeding 30mg per 100ml of blood is detected in her or his bloodstream in a breathalyser test.
Second and subsequent offences can lead to an imprisonment for two years or a fine of Rs 3,000.
In the Bidhannagar commissionerate area, the maximum number of drink driving cases were reported from Sector V, New Town and Baguiati.
An officer of the Bidhannagar City Police said most of those who were stopped at checkpoints or asked to undergo the breathalyser test pleaded with the cops to let them go.
“It’s Christmas and still you are not letting us go,” an officer who was posted in Sector V, near the RDB Boulevard, quoted a young woman as saying. She was riding pillion on a motorcycle on Saturday night.
The Bidhannagar commissionerate set up checkposts in multiple places, including Salt Lake and New Town and on VIP Road. More than 1,500 cops were deployed.
Around 60 more motorcyclists were booked in Bidhannagar for riding without a helmet or with more than one pillion rider.
In Kolkata, 1,640 motorcyclists were booked for the same offence on Christmas night.