In a move that will surely keep many drivers away from alcohol, the Goa police has planned to advise the state government to amend the Motor Vehicle Act. As per the proposed amendment, the police force should be able to keep violators in custody for at least a period of seven days before the offender gets eligible for bail.
As per Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, driving a vehicle with more than 30 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood is a punishable offence. As per this Motor Vehicle Act, which came into force back in 1988, the offenders only need to pay a few hundred rupees in fine. Many cops have pointed out that since the value of few hundred rupees isn’t anywhere as high as it was in the last millennium, many drivers don’t hesitate to pay the meagre fine. An amendment to the act to increase the fine amount is already pending in Parliament.
Muktesh Chander, the Director General of Police, said,“Courts have mostly been lenient on this issue. Imposing a fine is hardly a deterrent, and jail sentences have been sporadic. As a result, we’re unable to curb the drunken driving menace. Drunken driving cases are not compoundable, so they’re always sent to court.” Chander added,“It is upto the court to issue directions for suspension of license. In many cases, the offender doesn’t even spend a single night in the jail. I want to study the provisions of law in other countries and the sentencing patterns of other states and cities. If people can be sent to jail in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Secundarabad for this kind of violation, why not in Goa?”
The police officer also said that he has been waiting for the amendment in the Motor Vehicle Act to come through. However, if it doesn’t happen soon, he’ll strongly recommend the state government to amend the act locally and set a minimum seven-day custody for offenders. Dharmesh Angle, DySP (traffic), North Goa said that drunk driving cases have seen a huge rise in the last few years. He says that the influx of tourists, lifestyle changes of the localities and increasing number of vehicles are to be blamed for this. “Fines are now imposed as per the discretion of the court, but we want to take more stringent action so that there is some kind of deterrence,” he added.
Source- Times of India