In a bid to ensure that motorists and pedestrians are safe this year as the festive spirit takes hold, the Mumbai Traffic Police began a campaign against drink driving from December 20, and booked around 1,391 persons in the last seven days alone.
According to the authorities, owners of bars and pubs in the city have been issued notices asking that they not serve alcohol beyond the quantity mentioned on the drinking permit.
Also, owners have been asked to ensure that inebriated patrons do not get behind the wheel while leaving. The police have even warned owners of pubs and bars of action if anyone caught driving under the influence is traced back to their establishments.
To discourage inebriated drivers from fleeing when stopped at nakabandis or checkpoints, this year the traffic police will be equipped with cameras to film registration plates and drivers.
The police will later use the footage to book those drivers under appropriate sections of the law.
The police will also be increasing the number of checkpoints threefold this year and around 3,000 police personnel will be on the road on the night of December 31.
“Last year on the night of Dec 31, we booked around 739 persons for drink driving. This year we will also be booking people who park their cars on the roadside and play loud music,” said Brijesh Singh, additional commissioner of police, (traffic).
The traffic police will have cranes parked nearby to tow away vehicles that are seized.
From January till November this year, the traffic police have booked around 10,764 persons for drink driving. Around 16,324 were booked in 2011, and 16,290 in 2010.
“We have issued notices to bars and pubs asking them not to serve liquor beyond what is mentioned on drinking permits, and also to ensure that patrons who have been drinking do not drive,” said Singh.
The traffic police plan to book owners of bars and pubs if anybody is found drink driving. Till November this year, the number of accidents in the city has dropped to 439, as compared to an average of 630 accidents per year in the last decade.
“We have collected fines to the tune of Rs 15 crore till date. Fines collected last year amounted to Rs 24 crore, and the same amount in 2010,” said a traffic police officer.
The traffic police also booked around 9,992 persons for driving cars with tinted glasses is the past week.
Drink driving cases
Drunk drivers booked:
16,290 in 2010
16,324 in 2011
10,764 (till Nov this year)
Rs 15 crore so far this year
Rs 24 crore in 2011
Rs 24 crore in 2010