Caught driving drunk? Show original DL or face FIR

Police adopt move as offenders fail to produce licence

Caught driving drunk? Show original DL or face FIR
The traffic police are registering FIRs against motorists who do not submit their original licences when they are caught driving drunk.

They are booked for reckless and dangerous driving under IPC Section 279. The case goes to the court along with their ticket for drunk driving. This procedure is being followed for the last three months to avoid arguments with motorists during special drives against drunk driving.

“Offenders promise to come back with their original DLs after we seize their vehicle. But later, they come up with excuses for not producing their DLs. Some even try to bribe our men,” said a senior police officer. There is no spot fine for drunk driving. The person will be given a notice, which will be sent to the court and the offender will have to pay a fine there. The punishment for drunk driving is six months’ imprisonment or fine up to Rs 2,000 or both.

For a repeat offence, he will have to face imprisonment of two years or a fine up to Rs 3,000, or both. After being issued a notice, the motorist will not be allowed to drive.

He will have to leave his vehicle behind and take a cab home or call a friend or relative to drive him home. In case he wants to be driven home in his vehicle by a sober person, he must leave behind his original driving licence and RC book.

Around 25 to 30 drunk driving and riding cases are booked for every 250 to 300 motorists checked on a given night, said a senior officer.

At least three policemen are deployed for special drunk drive checks with three breathalysers, Blackberry phones, printers and unused straws. “We do a passive check first. No straws are used here and the motorist can just blow into the breathalyzer from a distance. If the result is negative, no measurement is required and the person is allowed to go. If the motorist has consumed alcohol, the machine shows ‘Alcohol.’ The motorist is then subjected to an active check to determine the level of blood alcohol present, where a disposable straw is used. The legal permissible limit of alcohol is 30 mg/DL.

“We have strict instructions to use disposable straws. One can insist that a fresh straw be taken out in front of them and destroy it after use. One is also free to carry one’s own straw,” said a senior police officer.
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