Drink and drive your way to jail this New Year's Eve

Dec 25, 2011, 08:47 IST | Saurabh Katkurwar & Nivedita Dargalkar

As Navi Mumbai cops prep themselves to send drunk drivers to jail, Mumbai traffic police start a week-long campaign by roping in club and bar owners to prevent revellers from causing trouble. Clearly, the authorities are in no mood to let trouble-makers get away this festive season

The Mumbai traffic police is going to take its attempt to curb cases of drunk driving on December 31 this year very seriously indeed.

On Friday evening, the traffic police started a week-long Safe Celebration Campaign to keep instances of drunk driving under control.

Police will conduct rigorous checks at various points in the city to curb instances of drunk driving in the last week of December every year.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Brijesh Singh said, "As per the directions of the Commissioner of Police, for the first time this year, the local police will be roped in to help traffic police catch offenders and ensure that people have a safe festive season."

Clubs can complain
As part of the campaign, traffic police will also direct restaurants and clubs hosting New Year bashes to make sure their patrons do not drink and drive.

"We will ask venues to direct their valets to keep a check on drunk patrons who may want to drive. When stopped, if the concerned person gets violent, the management can get in touch with the local police station or the beat marshals patrolling the streets. The officers will rush to the spot to take charge of the situation.

This way the drunk driving menace can be curbed at the starting point itself," added Singh.

Rs 17 lakh in one night
Last year on December 31, traffic police equipped with breath analysers booked 860 offenders for drunk driving.
Out of which, 55 were imprisoned for varying durations and 79 offenders has their licences suspended for six months. More than half of the offenders (490) were between the age group of 21-30 years.

The traffic police also collected a fine amounting to Rs 17.2 lakh the same night.

Drink and go to jail
Following the December 11 accident on Palm Beach road ('4 dead in Palm Beach mishap', December 12, MiD DAY) in which four youngsters under the influence of alcohol lost their lives when their speeding car collided with a tree, the traffic unit of Navi Mumbai police has decided to patrol and set up checkpoints across the satellite city to punish drivers under the influence of alcohol, especially on Palm Beach road and the Sion-Panvel highway.

Although police generally do not arrest anyone, who gets caught driving under the influence of alcohol, this time, Navi Mumbai may even arrest drivers.

Cops will be swarming
S A Quadri, assistant commissioner (Traffic), Navi Mumbai, said, "On December 31, in certain cases, we may even detain or arrest drivers found driving over the speed limit or under the influence of alcohol."

The traffic police will use 21 breath analysing machines and three speed guns on New Year's eve.

Shrikant Pathak, deputy police commissioner, Navi Mumbai police said, "Cops from the special branch will be on duty throughout the last week of December to arrest people caught driving while intoxicated."

Offenders caught and fines collected for drunken driving in 5 years:

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