Cracking the whip on a driver who was arrested thrice last year for drink driving, the court handed out a 7-month imprisonment, a Rs 3,000 fine and suspended his licence

A transit van driver caught by the police on New Year's Eve during a drink driving campaign couldn't have begun the year on a sadder note. The driver was sentenced to seven months imprisonment, fined Rs 3,000 and had his licence suspended for life for driving under the influence of alcohol by the Andheri Metropolitan Court on Monday.

Crackdown: Traffic police stationed at 75 points across the city on New
Year's Eve nabbed 739 offenders. Licences of 89 people were suspended
for a period of 6 months and licences of 50 others for 1 year. File pic

The harsh sentence meted out to the 27-year-old tempo driver comes in the backdrop of the sustained 'Safe Celebration Campaign' undertaken by the traffic cops to make drivers aware of the ills of drink driving.

Moreover, the verdict sends out a harsh warning to drivers ignoring the clarion call by traffic authorities.

"Stricter laws deter people from committing crimes. This technique has worked in bringing down cases of drink driving in the city during the campaign launched around the New Year week," said Brijesh Singh, additional commissioner of police (traffic).

Ignoring the law
On December 31, during a routine check, traffic cops nabbed the accused. When the cops asked him to park the vehicle by the side of the road, he made a run for it, leaving his vehicle behind.

The police then relayed the message wirelessly across the city and launched a manhunt for him. However, the very next day, the shrewd tempo driver sent his owner to fetch the confiscated tempo.

"We informed the tempo owner that his driver was drunk while driving. He led us to him and we arrested the tempo driver," said Senior Inspector S K Tadlapurkar of Sakinaka traffic police station.

"We realised that the tempo driver had been caught twice in the last year for drink driving. The second time he was caught, he hired a lawyer to fight his case in the court. However, before the verdict  was declared, he was caught again on December 31 for driving in an inebriated state," said Tadlapurkar.

"The accused accepted his crime in court and was given a stringent punishment by the court for drink driving," added Tadlapurkar.