Ambulance drivers are supposed to be lifesavers, but a 39-year-old man threw caution to the wind, driving under the influence of alcohol in the wee hours of Saturday in Bengaluru.
The accused Ravi Kumar, working for Manasa Trinity Hospital was arrested and booked under section 186 of Motor Vehicles Act (drunken driving). The ambulance was also seized after getting caught by officers of Ulsoor traffic police manned at Townhall. There were, however, no patients in the ambulance.
"Around 2am, the ambulance driver, who was coming from the Jayanagar direction, started behaving suspiciously on seeing us. Usually , we don't stop ambulances whether they are ferrying a patient or not. But the strange behaviour of the driver, who tried to speed away, made us stop him and make him undergo an alcohol test," a traffic police officer said.
After being apprehended, Ravi confessed to drinking to the police, an official said.
"Ravi told us that he dropped a patient at his house in JP Nagar, consumed liquor at a bar in Jayanagar and was proceeding to Doddaballapur," he said.
On testing, police found 180 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood ,which is six times the permissible limit.
"We normally don't obstruct the movement of ambulances as they carry patients. However, many ambulance drivers take advantage of this and even switch on the siren even when they are not ferrying patients," the officer added.
Incidents of ambulance drivers driving under the influence of alcohol is on the rise in the city.
In June, another ambulance driver was caught driving under influence by Halasuru Gate Traffic Police while he was on his way to pick up a patient.
Not only ambulance drivers, multiple school bus drivers have recently been caught for drinking and driving in the city.