The Hyderabad police have booked 1,177 cases of drunk driving in April alone.

Ten months since 9-yr-old Ramya died on Hyderabad roads drunken driving continues unabated
news Crime Monday, May 01, 2017 - 14:51

It was July 1, 2016, and nine-year-old Ramya had just attended her first day of school in Hyderabad.

Her whole family – parents, grandfather, and two uncles – had gone to pick her up, not knowing that their lives were about to change forever.

As they were making their way back from West Maredpally and were near Jubilee Hills, a speeding car coming in the opposite direction hit the road divider, and fell onto Ramya's car. 

Ramya’s uncle died on the spot while she suffered a pelvic injury and slipped into a coma. Both Ramya, and her grandfather, later succumbed to their injuries.

The speeding car was being driven by an engineering student named Shravil (20), who was allegedly drunk at the time. Shravil had consumed alcohol at a bar with a group of friends, before getting behind the wheel of his friend’s car.

It was an incident that shocked the city to its core. 

Massive outrage followed, and the police began mulling several steps to curb the menace of drunken driving.

One of the first proposals included an initiative called  “Designate a driver”, where one person from a group visiting a pub, would be chosen to drive all others home at the end of the evening. 

This person would then be given a wrist band that identified them as the driver, and no alcohol would be served to him or her. At the end of the night, only the person with the band would be allowed to drive the vehicle.

The police added that in cases where a single person on a two-wheeler enters the bar, “That person will be asked to drop his two-wheeler in the premises and take a cab service, which most of the city pubs are providing.”

In September last year, the city police considered cancelling the college admission of any student in the Cyberabad limits indulging in drunken driving.

If Ramya's case was not enough, another allegedly drunk driver rammed into one five-year-old Sanjana and her mother in October last year, leaving them both grievously injured.

Sanjana was on ventilator support and suffered multiple fractures on her arms and legs, as well as a serious head injury. Luckily, she survived.

Despite making several grand plans, none of these rules by the Traffic Police have been implemented on the ground, and drunk driving continues unabated in Hyderabad. 

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

In January, the first 20 days of the year saw 600 cases being registered.

The present figures don't look any better. 

According to data released by the Hyderabad police, 1,177 cases were registered against drunken drivers in Hyderabad in April alone. 

This included 827 two-wheelers, 68 three-wheelers and 282 four-wheelers. The police has also collected a fine of Rs 17.39 lakh from these violators.

Out of these, 444 were arrested and sent to imprisonment.

Additionally, the permissible level of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) according to the Hyderabad Traffic Police is below 30 mg. The rules also state that anything above 40 mg is dangerous.

However, most of the accused who were caught, showed a BAC above 100mg. 

The police say that they are confident that the number will come down, and attribute the increase to the population explosion.

Speaking to TNM, Dr V Ravinder, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said, "The population of the city is almost 1 crore now, and the number of drunken driving cases have risen proportionally. It is not alarming, but at the same time, we can't let these violations continue." 

"We have made many people serve a spell in prison, and this has been a deterrent. We have also planned to increase the punishment, especially for repeat offenders, and we will ensure that the number of cases decrease with time," he added. 


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