17 June 2010
By Mihir Tanksale
Drive Intensified After Tuesday’s Incident In Which A Youth Driving A Car Fatally Knocked Down A Woman
The decision comes a day after MBA student Unmesh Chavan fatally knocked down senior citizen Neelavati Singare on Sus road on Tuesday morning. He was in an inebriated condition.
Driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol appears to be a national malaise. Incidents of drunk driving and related accidents, some horribly fatal, have happened in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai among other cities. Pune too joined the list when Chavan ran over Singare.
His medical report proved that Chavan was driving in a drunk state when he hit her. The car then hit a school bus packed with children, but none of them was injured.
Inspector Vijaykumar Palsule (administration) of the traffic branch of the city police said that they have been taking action against drunk drivers. "However, against the backdrop of Tuesday’s incidence, we have decided to intensify action against those drinking and driving," Palsule said.
The traffic police have 45 breathalysers. Each traffic division has been provided with the instruments. Earlier, they had only six such devices, but during the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008, about 40 breathalysers were provided.
The effort will not just be to collect fines from drunk drivers. "We are concerned about the safety of drivers, the passengers in the vehicle, the pedestrians and other motorists and motorcyclists," he added.
In the earlier drives in the past five months, they have arrested around 1,500 drunk drivers, said Palsule. "They include government officials, IT professionals and college students," he added.
The increasing number of college students driving vehicles under the influence of alcohol is a cause for worry, Palsule said.
Experts attribute this to changing lifestyles where young people work hard, earn more and end up partying hard. Others said it had to do with changing social values and the pub culture. It can be curbed through frequent drives and breathalyser tests, they added.
Partygoers can follow a simple rule to cut down accident rates. One from the group can abstain and drive the rest home.
Chavan gets bail
The Chatushrungi police had arrested Chavan under sections 279 (rash driving) and 304(A) (death due to negligence) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 184 and 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Assistant inspector P B Javale of Chatushrungi police station on Wednesday produced Chavan before the JMFC P K Deshpande. While demanding the police custody for the suspect Chavan additional public prosecutor Harishchandra Doiphode told the court that the police wanted to investigate that where the suspect had consumed alcohol and also from where he had bought the liquor. "The police need the custody of Chavan for witnesses to identify him," Doiphode said.
Chavan was remanded in magisterial custody and later released on a personal surety of Rs 10, 000.
Taking Them By Surprise
- Deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Manoj Patil said, "We have decided to launch a surprise drive especially against the drivers of four–wheelers in the entire city at the same time."
- To curb drunk–driving incidents the traffic police have decided to put down on the person’s licence that he was caught driving drunk. "If we say on the licence that the person was arrested for drunk driving and we inform the insurance companies, they can charge more premium from such persons," Patil said.
- Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 has given the traffic police the right to arrest a person driving drunk. This is defined by the proportion of alcohol for a unit quantity of blood. This proportion is fixed at 30 mg of alcohol for every 100 ml of blood of the person riding/driving a vehicle.
- Police inspector Vijaykumar Palsule said that after arresting the drunk driver the traffic police will hand him over to the local police station. "The officials should produce the suspect in court and file a charge–sheet against him," Palsule said.
- The person can be sent to jail for six months or has to pay fine of Rs 2, 000. "However, if he again caught within the three hours of the prior arrest, he will be sent to prison for two years," he said.
- However, this section is bailable. In most cases, persons arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol are granted bail by the court.
- Recently, the state government forwarded a proposal mooting stringent changes in the law on drunk driving. The proposal recommends that the fine amount be increased from the current Rs2,000 to Rs1 lakh and the prison term be increased from the current six months to a maximum of five years.
- A breath analyser or breathalyser is a device for estimating the blood alcohol content (BAC) from a breath sample. It is used by the traffic police to check whether the alcohol concentration in the driver’s blood falls within the prescribed legal limits. In India, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) must be 0.03 per cent.
- The breathalyser measures the content of alcohol in the air breathed out by the driver. The person suspected of drunk driving is asked to exhale into the tube of the machine.
- The traffic branch of the city police now have advanced versions of the breathalysers. These show the content of alcohol the person had consumed. A printout shows these details.
- "The receipt is used as evidence. Once the person has been put through the breathalyser test, there is no need to conduct his blood test to verify whether he has taken alcohol," said inspector Vijaykumar Palsule of the traffic branch. MAJOR INCIDENTS
- APRIL 20, 2009: Nineteen people were killed and 15 others injured when a truck they were travelling in overturned on the Pune–Solapur road near Yevat, 40 km from Pune. The truck was laden with heavy iron rods and the driver was drunk
- DECEMBER 29, 2009: Seven people were injured when a truck driven allegedly by an inebriated person ran over a two–wheeler and rammed the roadside slums near Dengale bridge. The Shivajiangar police arrested truck driver Nitin Shelke (29) of Ranjangaon near Shirur
- JUNE 15, 2010: Sixtyfive–year–old Neelavati Singare of Ambejogai died on the spot when a speeding car driven by an MBA student knocked her down. The medical report proved that the driver Unmesh Chavan was under the influence of alcohol
- London has a strict law against drunk driving where the convicted person caught can lose his or her job
- Sweden is planning to introduce alcolocks by 2012 in vehicles where drivers must blow into to start the vehicle
- Most western countries disqualify the driver for 12 months if found guilty of drinking and driving.
- In the US, interest rates on life and vehicle insurance go up for five years if you have been booked for drinking and driving.