During New Year celebrations in the city, the traffic police booked 957 drunk drivers during a special drive.

With over 600 drunk driving cases in just 20 days Hyderabad stares at a crisisImage for representation
news Drunk and Drive Friday, January 27, 2017 - 17:08

Despite several measures taken up by the Hyderabad police, drunk driving still remains one of the biggest problems in the city.

In the month of January, the first 20 days have already seen more than 600 cases being registered under drunken driving.

“Every week, we book more than 200 cases. Even after all the measures, this problem has not come down,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Jitender.

According to the ACP, the main reason for the large number of cases is the attitude of people towards their own safety and the safety of others.

During New Year celebrations in the city, the traffic police booked 957 drunk drivers during a special drive, which is reportedly the highest number of cases recorded on a single day.

“We have taken up several measures but the only thing missing is people’s cooperation. We need active cooperation from the citizens to overcome this issue,” Jitender said.

According to him, in 2016, more than 17,000 cases were booked against drunk drivers and nearly 7,000 people were sent to jail over drunk driving offences.

“Previously, I have seen maximum offenders (about 60%) were people driving four-wheelers. But last year, 80% of the people caught in drunk driving cases were driving two-wheelers. And that is even more dangerous. They are putting others as well as their own lives in danger. However, there is a decrease in fatal accidents,” he said.

To control drunk driving, the traffic police have held several awareness programs and meetings with bar and pub owners asking them not to serve liquor to people under 21 and to ensure that the person who will drive the vehicle remains sober.

In addition to that, they have recently started calling the spouses and parents of people caught for drunk driving in order to give counselling.

Similar is the case with Cyberabad.

On New Year’s Eve, traffic officials of Cyberabad Police Commissionerate booked nearly 400 people for drunk driving.

In 2016, more than 1200 cases were registered.

Cyberabad Police with Amrita Foundation - an NGO associated with substance abuse rehabilitation - has started a project called “counselling for drunk and drive” last year on August, for all offenders held for driving under the influence of alcohol, so as to bring down the number of such cases in the city.  

“We give counselling to more than 100 drunk and drive offenders every week. Most of them are from economically and socially weak backgrounds like vegetable vendors and auto drivers. However, this is the first time that 18 first-time offenders have been jailed for one to six days. Making the law strict will help in controlling this issue,” said Dr. Devika Rani K, psychiatrist and director of Amrita Foundation.

She said that in January alone, we have registered 202 cases under drunken driving, out of which five were students and four were repeat offenders.

January 17 to 23 was observed as ‘Road Safety Week’ by the Road Safety Authority of the city while January 31 will be marked as an `accident-free day’.

“We have conducted several programs during the road safety week to generate awareness about this issue. Also, experts gave detailed lectures about how alcohol affects one’s health, however, to eradicate these kind of cases, we need more people’s support too. For several years, I have been writing letters to school authorities, so that we can conduct an educational session on drunken driving. So far, hardly four schools have come forward,” she added.

She also blamed the illegal liquor outlets mushrooming in the city, for the rise of ‘drunk and drive’ cases.

“There are more than 200 illegal liquor shops and people have started consuming more liquor. I have been counselling a cab driver during our programme. He was a repeat offender who said that the easy availability of wine shops encouraged him to drink after work hours. Another aspect is the attitude of young people towards society. They feel drinking makes them ‘cool’ and speeding while driving is fun, which leads to fatal accidents,” she said.

 

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