In a crackdown on drink driving, the traffic police caught 504 Gatari revellers on Friday and Saturday
The traffic police’s preparation in the run-up to Gatari Amavasya seems to have paid off, with the department nabbing as many as 504 drunk drivers on Friday and Saturday.
Smelling trouble: The traffic officials had prepared for the days when drink driving is rampant by ensuring that their breath analysers were all functional. File pic
Anticipating a rise in drink driving during the regional festival, the police had organised a drive across the city on Friday and Saturday, between 9 pm and 3 am.
Observed in Maharashtra and parts of Goa, Gatari Amavasya is often celebrated by binge drinking before the month of Shravan begins, during which followers abstain from alcohol and non-vegetarian food.
Last year on Gatari Amavasya (August 6), the traffic department had caught 149 drunk drivers. Compared to that, this year saw a steep rise in the number of offenders caught.
DCP (Traffic) Vishwas Pandhare credited this to detailed preparations and teamwork by the department.
“This year we had planned the drive well in advance, so we got the breath analysers repaired to ensure that all 45 of them were working. With a team of 50 traffic officials, we saw to it that most of them could use the analysers.”
More than 85 per cent of those caught driving under influence were aged 23 to 41, while the remaining 15 per cent were 42 years and above.
“Youngsters tend to drink and drive at high speeds, which can result in major accidents. We have been conducting
seminars in colleges and corporate companies, educating the masses to not drive under the influence of alcohol, because they are putting others’ lives in danger as well,” said Pandhare.
The traffic police have seized the driving licences of all 504 drunk drivers, and the permits will be suspended by the Regional Transport Office after a court hearing this week. Depending on the offence, the licences could get suspended for anywhere between seven and 180 days.
Drunk drivers caught on Friday
Offenders caught on Saturday
Areas that reported most drink driving cases:
>> Koregaon Park: 115
>> Aundh: 98
>> Chandani Chowk: 76
>> Hinjewadi: 64
>> Camp: 60
>> Hadapsar: 58