Despite undertaking mass awareness campaigns beforehand, the number of drunk drivers jumped by 35 per cent on New Year’s Eve. While the city traffic police booked 705 drunk drivers (up from 523 last year), their Thane counterparts penalised 775 motorists for the same offence, compared to last year’s 620.

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

Speaking to mid-day, Jt CP (Traffic) Milind Bharambe said, “We collected fines of around Rs 5,63,900 in one night. All the drunk drivers and riders were booked under Section 185 (driving by a drunken person or by a person under the influence of drugs) of the Motor Vehicles Act and later produced in court. We had deployed around 2,500 constables, 250 officers and conducted nakabandis at 90 locations across Mumbai. It was a peaceful night with policemen manning the streets.”

Totally high
In a bizarre incident at Naupada, Ashok Oval, caught drink driving, set his brand new Bajaj Avenger ablaze. A breath analyzer test revealed the presence of 344 ml of alcohol in Oval’s blood, which is over 10 times the prescribed limit of 30 ml.

Also read: New Year's eve revelry - 353 motorists booked for drunk driving in Pune

The on-duty officers reacted in time and prevented the fire from spreading to the other confiscated two-wheelers by moving them to a safer distance.

The Naupada police later arrested Oval.

“Despite facilities like radio cabs, additional trains and buses, people decided to drive or ride after drinking,” a traffic police officer said.