Drunken driving continues unabated in Hyderabad, with fresh cases being reported almost every other day, and the police a hapless lot, despite several preventive measures in place.
A private bus driver arrested by the police on Friday, registered a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) that was almost 16 times the permissible limit.
Speaking to The News Minute, the Hayathnagar Station House Officer Narender Goud says the incident happened at a check-post on the outskirts of the city.
â€śAt around 10 am on Friday, we were checking vehicles along with RTO officials, after receiving numerous complaints about unregistered bus operators plying on city roads, even making inter-city trips.â€ť
According to Goud, as checking was in progress, a bus-driver came from behind, dodged the check-post, rammed into a road divider, before being intercepted and forced to stop after a short chase by the police.
"We had to chase him for a few minutes, before we intercepted him. With a strong odour of alcohol emanating from him, we made him take a breathalyzer test, which showed a BAC of 474 mg!â€ť
The permissible limit, according to the Hyderabad Traffic Police, is 30 mg/100 ml.
The bus that belonged to Bharath Travels was heading from Hyderabad to Bhadrachalam. Both the bus and the driver who was later identified as Nirmala Yadagiri were taken into custody, and a chargesheet filed.
What was even more shocking was that more than 50 passengers were on board, when the incident took place. Luckily, none were injured. They were later shifted to another bus.
Yadagiri was booked under the Motor Vehicles Act for drunken as well as rash driving.
Just last week, two pedestrians were injured and two electric poles uprooted, after a drunken car-driver ran amok in Saroornagar.
The first 20 days of January saw more than 600 cases being registered for drunken driving. At the time, the police had admitted that 200-odd cases per week are usually registered across the city.
During New Year celebrations in the city, the traffic police had booked 957 drunk drivers during a special drive, reportedly the highest number of cases recorded on a single day.
According to the police, more than 17,000 drunken drivers were booked and nearly 7000 sent to jail for the same in 2016.
This despite the police having held several awareness programmes and meetings with bar and pub owners, asking them not to serve liquor to people under 21, and to ensure only the sober get to go behind the wheel.
The Hyderabad police even observed 'Road Safety Weekâ€™, where they pledged to aim for an accident-free week. They are still waiting to achieve the target.