Liquor shops banned from India’s highways

Indian highways are full of chaos at any part of the day. All the major highways report dozen of accidents daily from the length and breadth of the country. The number of accidents swells exponentially when the highway passes through a city or a crowded area. And many accidents are caused due to drunk drivers. In a bid to curb this menace, Supreme Court of India today announced that all the liquor shops that are along the highway will be closed down after 1st April 2017.

Liquor shops banned from India’s highways

Why the decision?

A bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur directed the Central and state governments to “cease and desist” from renewing or issuing liquor licenses for wine shops along the along the highways in India. The bench set a deadline date of April 1, 2017, to expire all the existing licenses.


The step has been taken to improve the road safety. Also, the court says that removing such shops will keep drunk drivers at the bay. The removal of such shops will also make sure that there are no unnecessary bunch of cars on the highways who stop to buy liquor. The move is aimed to make the highways less chaotic.

What is the new rule?

Liquor shops banned from India’s highways

As per the order, any liquor shop should not be visible or accessible from the national or state highways. There should be a distance of at least 500 metres between the liquor shop and the highway. The police chiefs and state secretaries of all the states have been asked to crack down illegal liquor vendors along the highway to maintain the discipline.

The new ruling will make highways less distractive, which in turn will cause less number of accidents. Also, according to the Supreme Court, the fatalities due to drunken driving will come down drastically.

Accidents in India

Liquor shops banned from India’s highways

The government of India released a data of accident statistics on 2015. The data suggested that every hour at least 17 people died every hour on the Indian roads every hour in 2015, which translates into a death every 3.5 minutes. Delhi is considered as the most dangerous city of the drive with 1,622 road deaths in 2015.

The data also shares details on the most severe accidents or most deaths per 100 accidents. The city of Amritsar turns out to be on the top list of the most severe accidents in India with 66 deaths per 100 accidents. In India, there were 5,01,423 reported accidents in India during which 1,46,133 lives were lost. The move sure will improve the situation but there need to be more steps to make the highways a safer place to drive in India.

More on accident data in 2015: India’s most dangerous cities for road users

Shantonil Nag

Shantonil brings a refined blend of expertise and enthusiasm to motoring journalism at With a career spanning over 11 years, he anchors Cartoq's insightful car reviews and test drives. His journalistic journey began as a correspondent at, where he honed his skills in content writing and scripting car reviews. Later, as Senior Editor for, his expanded role included curating and structuring web content. At, his expanded role includes assisting the video team to create high-quality car reviews. (Full bio)