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At 2,840 a year, Bengaluru drunk driving cases under check

Drunk driving cases constituted 4% to almost 9% of the total vehicles inspected monthly, hinting at a potentially enduring trend of consistently low drunk driving incidents.
Last Updated : 04 September 2023, 03:28 IST
Last Updated : 04 September 2023, 03:28 IST

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The Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) have logged 2,840 cases this year against motorists driving under the influence of alcohol.

Drunk driving cases constituted 4% to almost 9% of the total vehicles inspected monthly, hinting at a potentially enduring trend of consistently low drunk driving incidents.

Since January, police have been actively conducting regular checks for drunk driving across the city’s four divisions, in which the South reported the highest number of cases in five out of seven months. It recorded 245 cases in April alone. During one week in August, the police recorded 310 cases, which represented just 4.7% of the nearly 6,500 vehicles they checked.

March emerged as the month with the most cases, totaling 656 out of 13,779 vehicles inspected. April followed closely behind with 654 cases out of 14,926 drivers tested. In both instances, the percentage of cases registered stood at 4.7% and 4.3%, respectively.

MN Anucheth, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said since the checks occur randomly, it is harder to surely say whether cases have increased or decreased.

Joint survey 

In March, various agencies, including the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety and Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, partnered with Nimhans and the traffic police to launch a campaign against drunk driving.

Anucheth believed this campaign could have had a positive impact on the behaviour of vehicle users.

He also noted that increased fines for drinking and driving may have heightened awareness among motorists, encouraging them to follow traffic rules and use alternative transports like cabs.

“I have directed all traffic police to mandatorily test both victims and accused for alcohol content in all cases of fatal or grievous accidents,” he added. 

Anucheth also mentioned that the traffic police were analysing the accident rate attributable to drunk driving to gain a better understanding of the prevalence of this issue in the city.

Reality check 

Alok Kumar, ADGP, Traffic and Road Safety, Karnataka, stressed the need to examine outcomes to determine whether cases were indeed declining.

“We can only assert that drunk driving has decreased if the total number of accidents decrease. Otherwise, only looking at the number of cases will not tell us anything conclusive,” he explained.

Drunk driving cases this year

1) January 
Vehicles checked: 4,052 
Cases filed: 230
Percentage: 5.6%

2) February  
Vehicles checked: 727
Cases filed: 50
Percentage: 6.8%

3) March
Vehicles checked: 13,779
Cases filed: 656
Percentage: 4.7%

4) April
Vehicles checked: 14,926
Cases filed: 654
Percentage: 4.3%

5) May
Vehicles checked: 685
Cases filed: 60
Percentage: 8.7%

6) June
Vehicles checked: 4,993
Cases filed: 231
Percentage: 4.6%

7) July
Vehicles checked: 15,965
Cases filed: 649
Percentage: 4%

8) 1st week of Aug
Vehicles checked: 6,496
Cases filed: 310
Percentage: 4.7%

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Published 04 September 2023, 03:28 IST

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