Drunk-driving: First time offenders to lose driving licence

Police to intensify drive from April 26; so far 152 DLs suspended

It may be your first time, but if it is an offence as serious as drunk driving in the city, then you may not only have to cough up the fine, but you will automatically lose your driving licence. Starting from this Saturday (April 26), the city police will be initiating stringent action against the vehicular users, irrespective of types, driving in inebriated condition.

Announcing this to the media at his office on Wednesday, Police Commissioner M A Saleem said that it had been decided to step up action against such traffic offenders, as the number of fatal and non-fatal mishaps involving drunk individuals at wheels were increasing, despite the department dealing with them with the iron hand.

Till now, licences of only those two-wheeler riders who were caught under the influence of alcohol for second time, were being recommended for suspension from regional transport authority. In the newly planned initiative, first time offenders will also have to follow suit. Offenders also had to pay the fine in the court up to Rs 2,000.

Till April 20 this year, 152 driving licences have been suspended in 1,454 cases, with the department collecting a fine of Rs 30.30 lakh. While two lives were lost, five were injured in five cases. Last year, as many as 105 DLs were suspended in 4,421 cases, with a fine of Rs 71.13 lakh being collected. Two lives were lost, and 23 people had been injured in 25 cases.

Notices will be served to the violator/s by the competent authority (RTO) seeking reply from him or her, intimating them about the imminent action (suspension of licence) in the ambit of law. They will also be given a chance to appeal at the office of joint commissioner for transport. If the reply is not found satisfactory, further action will be initiated. In extreme cases, even the driving licences can be cancelled.

Public transport

Saleem said that though it was an arduous task to monitor drunken driving, it had to be done, as lives were at stake. He said that once the drive is intensified, people would shift to hiring a driver or public transport, when under the influence of alcohol, as has happened in Bangalore.

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