Troubled by media reports and statements doing the rounds on social media of an alleged faulty breath analyser being used during the drunken drive enforcement by the Hyderabad Traffic Police on New Year's Eve, authorities released a press note on Wednesday, asking people not to believe the allegations.
"At about 12:20 am on January 1, Trimulgherry Traffic Police stopped one two-wheeler and checked the breath of rider to measure the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level and they found that the rider, identified as Nagabhushan Reddy, had a BAC level of 77 mg/100 ml, as against the permissible level of 30 mg/100 ml. Despite this, he denied to have consumed alcohol," the press release stated.
The police said that the local officials who caught the rider then followed the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) laid down and handed the accused an e-ticket, and seized his vehicle, following which he left the place. However, what irked the police was that Nagabhushan later went to the media and claimed that the breath analyzer was faulty, showing he was drunk when in fact he had not consumed alcohol.
The press note further adds, "After seeing the newspaper reports published on January 2, the Traffic Police conducted further enquiry and found that Nagabhushan Reddy had personally approached the Casuality Medical Officer (CMO) at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad at 12:57 am on January 1 for a medical check-up. In the hospital, the officer didnâ€™t follow the due procedure to declare whether he was under the influence of alcohol or not. He simply conducted oral clinical examination and certified that he was not under the influence of alcohol. The medical officer did not collect the blood samples for forwarding to the laboratory. Moreover, Nagabushan Reddy was not accompanied by any police officer."
This is not the first time that such an incident has come to light as in August this year, a citizen had challenged the Sultanbazar police under similar circumstances.
"At the time, the Superintendent of Osmania General Hospital (OGH) had constituted a three-member committee to enquire into the complaint. The committee suggested certain recommendations, which included that the CMO should send blood samples to check for BAC levels in all such cases to a relevant agency and also follow routine protocols strictly. Here, the CMO of Gandhi Hospital did not follow the said procedure. Hence, the Hyderabad Traffic Police has filed a complaint with the Medical Superintendent, Gandhi Hospital, Hyderabad to enquire and take necessary action against the CMO," the police said
The police also said that the breath analyser machines were supplied by a laboratory in Delhi which was accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) and monitored by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Government of India and the Indian Industry.
"Once in a year, the calibration of the device is checked and certified. On August 17 and August 18, 2018, all the devices were checked and calibrated. Therefore, Hyderabad Traffic Police strongly condemns the news items and rumours on social media. The police also appeals to all the citizens not to believe such news reports as the entire procedure of Drunken Drive enforcement is conducted legally and scientifically," the press note added.