Drunken driving is a major problem on the Indian roads. The Indian roads see one of the most dangerous roads in the world and nuisance like drunken driving increases the chances of accidents even further. In Karnataka, there is a 170% jump in the numbers of people losing their driving licences for drunk driving.
As per ETAuto, around 83,690 driving licences have been cancelled by the Karnataka RTOs between 2016 and 2108. Out of which, around 59,797 licenses have been cancelled for driving or riding drunk.
A senior transport department official said,
We are taking stringent action against violators, especially those driving or riding under the influence of alcohol. They have to apply for a learner’s licence and then apply for driving licence. They will be issued a licence only after passing the mandatory driving test,
In 2016, as many as 12,151 people got their licenses cancelled. In 2017, the number of such motorists who got their licenses cancelled rose to 14,881 while as many 32,765 people lost their driving licenses in 2018. Out of the total number of licenses that got cancelled, the percentage of drunk driving cases climbed from 59% in 2016 to 79% in 2018.
The transport department receives a recommendation from the traffic police department on the cancellation of licenses. Apart from drunk driving cases, people can also lose their licenses for violations like jumping the traffic signal, overspeeding, overloading of goods, carrying passengers on goods vehicles, using a cellphone while driving, riding without a helmet and not buckling the seatbelt.
The drunk drivers or riders can lose their license on the first instance of getting caught. However, people breaking other laws need to be repeat offenders for getting their license cancelled.
MA Saleem, ADGP, commissioner for traffic and road safety and crime & technical services said,
Accidents by a drunken driver are generally due to poor judgment, slow reaction, delayed reflexes, poor visual attention, improper coordination and difficulty in identifying road bottlenecks,” he said. “Consumption of alcohol also results in a euphoric effect which makes individual shed inhibition and violates traffic rules.
In India, a maximum limit of alcohol in the blood is 30 mg per 100 ml. The cops can seize the license if the alcohol level is found above that. In many other states, people can also go to jail for driving drunk and have to pay hefty fines. In recent years, the laws around drunken driving have become very stringent and cops have started to apply them extremely strictly. This has caused a rise in the numbers of drunken driving cases. A cop can flag down a vehicle and the level of alcohol is measured by breathalyzer. If a person refuses to take the test on the spot, the cops take them to government-approved hospitals for blood samples, which is then used to determine the level of alcohol.