The Statistics are alarming!
According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, about 16 persons die every hour across India in road mishaps. While the report titled ‘Road Accidents in India 2014’ carries the statistics indicating the number of persons injured and dead in road hazards, it doesn’t specifically mention the number of persons affected by drunk driving.
A total of 4,89,400 accidents led to 1,37,572 deaths and 4,93,474 injuries across the country in 2014. Tamil Nadu followed by Maharashtra and then Madhya Pradesh witnessed the most number of road accidents. The following thirteen states accounted for 86.3% of total road accidents in the entire country.
Legal Drinking Age
In India, the legal age for drinking varies from 18 years to 25 years from state to state, while some states have completely banned alcohol. For instance, a state like Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and others have a legal drinking age of 18 years. States like Delhi, Haryana and others have a legal drinking age of 25 years, while most states have a legal drinking age of 21 years. Consumption of alcohol is completely banned in the states of Gujarat, Bihar, Manipur and Nagaland, as well as the union territory of Lakshadweep.
Drunk Driving- Alcohol Limit in India
Any person who in his/her blood has alcohol exceeding 30 mg. per 100 ml. of blood, detected in a test by a breath analyser is said to be driving under the influence or drunk driving. The same also applies to any person who is under the influence of a drug to such an extent as to be incapable of exercising proper control over the vehicle.
Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act of 2016- Game Changer!
With an aim to enhance road safety, the Amendment has led to massive changes with respect to safety on roads and ensuring the same is not breached. In effect, almost all offences have seen a significant increase in the penalties. This is with the hope that the same will act as a deterrent against traffic violations. Stricter provisions are being proposed with respect to offences like drunk driving. The penalty for drunk driving under the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 has been increased from Rs.2000 to Rs.10,000.
It is a good idea to call for an Uber even if you are planning to have just one pint of beer over lunch. The amendment has reduced the permissible level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) from 30mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 20mg. A pint of beer (330ml) can send your BAC above the 20mg mark.
While countries like the US and the UK have levels around 80mg/100ml, India will have the lowest limit. This is certainly a good move for the society and especially to keep in check the reckless youth ready to gamble their lives over a ride and temporary thrills. The mindset certainly changes with the law as even if a persons’ BAC is less than 20mg they tend to get reckless and drive rashly.
Drunk Driving Punishment
Currently, Section 185 in The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 makes driving under the influence a criminal offence in India. The first time a driver is caught at the wheel drunk, he may have to shell out as much as Rs 10,000 fine and/or be ready for imprisonment for a term of six months, which may extend to 12 months. Plus a 6-month licence suspension from the date of conviction, or date of sentencing or date of release.
A second drunk driving offence will mean permanent cancellation of driving licence and a two-year jail term and a fine of Rs. 15,000.
Procedure to be endured if caught driving drunk
At the point when a man is captured regarding an offense culpable under segment 185 Motor Vehicles Act, they should, inside two hours of his capture, be subjected to a restorative examination by an enrolled professional, coming up short which they might be discharged from authority.
The offender is required to give a blood specimen for a lab test either if they refuse/fail/omit to take the breathalyzer or if the breathalyzer indicates the presence of alcohol. Usually, just a breath test is conducted at the spot with a breathalyzer. If refused, the wrongdoer is given a chance to experience a breath test at a police headquarters after capture.
On the off chance that the cop speculates your refusal to take the breathalyzer is because of tipsiness, you can be set in custody without a warrant and you will be taken to the closest healing facility/police headquarters to take a blood liquor test.
Be that as it may, regardless of the possibility that you figure out how to by one means or another escape experiencing any blood liquor test when asked for to do as such, an assumption of inebriation is drawn under area 205 against you, which is allowable proof. The only possible excuse alcohol ever gives you could be delirium tremens—a rare psychotic and often fatal condition caused when chronic alcoholics stop drinking, which can produce such a degree of madness as to render a person incapable of distinguishing right from wrong, which may relieve them from criminal responsibility.
A drunken person is presumed to have the knowledge equivalent to that of a sober man (Basdev vs State). The law says that drunkenness is a kind of madness for which the madman is to blame.
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