Despite repeated appeals to not drive under the influence of alcohol, 209 New Year revellers were found doing so on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1. In a massive drive carried out across 29 traffic divisions of the city, the Hinjewadi and Bhosari traffic divisions topped the list of drink-driving cases registered as they booked as many as 24 offenders each.
The Chatuhshrungi traffic division booked 16 people, while Kothrud and Khadki booked 14 people each.
Police Inspector Kishor Jadhav of the Hinjewadi traffic division said: "Compared to the city, there were no traffic jams in Hinjewadi and Sangavi areas. Owing to this, we could concentrate our strength on intercepting persons indulging in drunk driving."
On December 31, 2009, and January 1, 2010, the police had booked 113 New Year revellers for drink-driving. Traffic branch officials blamed the spurt in numbers this time on the "changing trend where people feel that celebration is linked with drinking". The police also felt that the rush was more evident on streets this time because of the fact that New Year's Eve fell on a Saturday.
Two accidents were reported because of drink-driving on New Year's Eve, in Hinjewadi and Chinchwad. In the Hinjewadi accident, the police said one Manuel Zavier Das was responsible for the death of 25-year-old Amol Dnyaneshar Gavai as the bike Das was riding hit the road driver. The accident took place at 12.30 am yesterday.
Das was booked for rash and negligent driving resulting in culpable homicide. In the Chinchwad accident, one Vijay Sambhaji Kamble was arrested for driving in an inebriated condition. Kamble was also booked for abusing the policemen on nakabandi. The incident took place near Eagle Hotel at 2 am yesterday.
"We had motivated our officers to take serious action against drink-driving on a massive scale. Owing to this, there were stringent checks across the city," said DCP Vishwas Pandhare of the traffic branch of the city police. "The drive was conducted along with local police station staff. Besides this, at 53 spots in the city, nakabandi was implemented so that New Year's celebrations pass off without any major incident."