Police touch emotional chord to reform drunk drivers

Offenders must watch short films on accidents to get back their vehicles, DL

Police touch emotional chord  to reform drunk drivers

The traffic police are on a reformation mission these days. They have adopted an innovative method to reduce the cases of drunk-driving. 

Every person booked for drunk-driving has to attend a session where short films, video clippings and pictures of live accidents caused by drunk-driving and their impact on the victims’ families are shown. 

“Our priority is not just to slap notices and collect fine. We want to reduce drunk-driving cases and bring in a positive change in offenders,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M A Saleem told Deccan Herald. “It’s reformation that ensures change. Hence, we started screening short films around three months ago.” 

These sessions are held at the Upparpet traffic police station for western division, Jayanagar traffic police station for southern division and the Traffic Management Centre for central and eastern divisions. 

When police book a person for drunk-driving, they seize their vehicle and driving licence and issue them notice, mentioning the result of the alcometer test and the date of appearance in the court to pay the fine. The traffic police cannot collect the fine in drunk-driving cases, but can only issue the notice. 

Once the offenders come to the police station after paying the fine in court to collect their driving licences and vehicles, they are asked to attend a screening session forthwith. Their driving licences and vehicles are returned only after they attend the screening session, said Assistant Commissioner of Police (traffic-west) Jagadeesh G A. 

The films depict the plight of innocent people becoming victims of drunk-driving. Policemen also present statistics on the economic loss to the families and health hazards caused by alcohol. The offenders are then made to take an oath that they would never repeat the offence. 

“We often see offenders in tears once they watch the heartrending scenes and the footage of death and blood. They vow to give up alcohol and never drive drunk,” the officer said. 

In  many cases, such people have even reformed their friends by sharing their experience and the kind treatment at the police stations.  
Statistics on drunk-driving
Police book offenders of drunk-driving under Section 185 of the Indian Motor Vehicles Act. 
Any rider or driver having in their blood, alcohol exceeding 30 mg per 100 ml of blood detected in a test by a breathalyser is booked. Police registered 55,153 drunk-driving cases in 2014 and 62,577 last year. Till January 31 this year, 6,914 cases have been registered.

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