By Anup Mishra
Jamshedpur, Jan. 9: On New Year eve, the Jamshedpur traffic police penalized hundreds of drunk drivers. A huge posse of policemen was deployed at different locations across the city to check for drunken driving. It is unfathomable why people get behind the wheels or ride their bikes in inebriated condition especially when they know that it is against the law, dangerous and prone to grave consequences.
According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway’s report, 45 accidents happen every day due to drunk driving in India out of which on an average 19 people die. People have lost many near and dear ones to open eyes to the fact that each crash, each injury, each death impacts not only the person driving, but families, friends, classmates, colleagues and many others.
As per the Motor Vehicle Act of India, driving under the influence of alcohol is punishable with penalties ranging between Rs 2,000 and Rs 10,000 and or imprisonment from 6 months to 4 years. Permissible limit of alcohol is 0.05% or 30mg of alcohol in 100ml blood. Better implementation of the Act is required in India round the clock and not only during the festive seasons.
Studies have revealed that one drink of 30 ml of alcohol in blood increases chances of fatal accidents by three times when compared to a person who is sober while driving. Alcohol affects one’s judgment thereby putting many lives in danger. Alcohol adversely affects driving ability. More efforts are required from the government authorities concerned to raise awareness of the impact of drunk driving. Proper counseling is required for first time offenders. Strict laws are in place, we just need to sincerely implement them. Relevant education and training must be provided to driving license applicants. Training should be mandatory once a year for everyone.
The scourge of drunk driving must stop. It has taken many lives and left many families devastated. It is a social responsibility to create awareness about the consequences of drunk driving.