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6.5k people in Delhi fined for drunken driving till March 31 | Latest News Delhi

An average of 72 people per day, over a three-month period ending March 31, have been prosecuted for driving their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, data from the Delhi Traffic Police has revealed, with the Rajouri Garden traffic circle in west Delhi reporting the maximum number of cases of drunken driving, officers said on Sunday.

The Delhi Traffic Police said they are also emphasising on the importance of community involvement to combat the menace of drunken driving.(Rep image)

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According to the data, the traffic police challaned 6,591 people for driving under the influence between January 1 and March 31 this year — part of a special drive carried out against drunken driving across the city in the first three months of the year, officers said. In contrast, 5,384 such challans were issued in the corresponding period in 2023, and only 399 people were prosecuted for this offence in 2022 — though the low figure in 2022 is attributed to the fact that the use of breath analysers was suspended in the city to stem the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

This year, the traffic circle with the maximum number of challans for drunken driving was Rajouri Garden, with 333 such violations. Other traffic circles that performed poorly include Samaypur Badli (252), Mehrauli (240), Karol Bagh (235), and Rohini (235).

“Driving under the influence of alcohol poses a grave risk not only to the individual behind the wheel but also to passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists sharing the road. It impairs judgement, slows reaction times, and increases the likelihood of accidents causing injuries or fatalities. The consequences of such irresponsible behaviour can be devastating and irreparable. Our previous studies have shown that drunken driving was a key factor behind the fatal road accidents in the city,” said special commissioner of police (traffic zone 2) HGS Dhaliwal.

Keeping in view the alarming trend, a special drive was carried out at various locations across the city, especially during night and early morning hours, to catch and prosecute those who drove under the influence of alcohol. Several traffic police teams, equipped with digital alcohol testing machines, were formed to carry out on-the-spot prosecutions as well as the chase and challan crackdown using the high-speed police bikes, said a traffic police officer.

“In the first three months of 2024, a significant surge in the prosecution of individuals caught driving under the influence of alcohol was noticed. Our teams caught and booked 6,591 violators this year till March 31, compared to 5,384 and 399 during the same period in 2023 and 2022. This concerning trend underscores the urgent need for increased awareness and stringent enforcement of traffic regulations to ensure public safety on the roads of the city,” Dhaliwal said.

Another traffic police officer said that to understand the traffic violation pattern more minutely with the aim to identify the most vulnerable areas and take immediate measures to curb the menace of drunken driving in the city, an analysis of the challans issued for the violation was analysed. Based on the maximum number of challans, 10 traffic police circles were identified as the most drunken driving prone areas.

“This analysis sheds light on areas where drink and drive violations are most prevalent, allowing for targeted enforcement efforts to improve road safety and compliance with traffic laws. We have intensified our efforts in such areas. Strict enforcement measures, including increased checking and breath analyser tests, are being implemented to deter individuals from engaging in this hazardous behaviour. The Delhi Traffic Police urge the citizens of Delhi to prioritise safety and act responsibly while driving. It is imperative for every individual to recognize the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and refrain from doing so,” said special commissioner of police (traffic zone 1) Kannan Jegadesan.

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The Delhi Traffic Police said they are also emphasising on the importance of community involvement to combat the menace of drunken driving. Citizens are encouraged to report any instances of suspected drunken driving promptly, thereby contributing to the collective effort to create safer roads for everyone, a statement issued by the traffic police read.

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