Driving a motor vehicle when drunk is a crime and a punishable offence. It is not only dangerous for the individual driving the car and the passengers, but for people on the road as well. Therefore, the Government of India has implemented preventive measures to control drunk and drive cases across the country.
The government has imposed hefty penalties and stringent punishment for drinking and driving. Here are a few important questions related to drunk driving.
- What is drunken driving?
When an individual is driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance, it is termed as drunken driving. Consumption of alcohol above the stated limit is punishable by law and a criminal offence.
- Is there a limit on alcohol consumption?
Yes. There is a limit set on alcohol consumption in India. The Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) should be 0.03 per cent per 100 ml of blood. If the alcohol content in your blood is more than this limit, you will face hefty penalties or imprisonment in extreme cases.
Determining the BAC value without a device is quite impossible. So, if you think that you can pass by safely without getting tested, especially after it has been a while that you consumed alcohol, then you are terribly mistaken. Traffic police officers have a breathalyzer that helps them determine this value.
- What is a breathalyzer?
A breathalyzer is a device that helps traffic officials analyse an individual’s breath sample and determine the BAC in them. You will notice traffic officers with this device often during the night. When asked by the traffic police, you will have to cooperate with them and allow them to take your breath sample.
- Is there any penalty on drinking and driving?
Drinking and driving are punishable by law under Section 185 MV Act. If you are caught for drinking and driving, then you will have to pay a penalty of INR 2000 and/or face imprisonment up to six months for the first offence. The subsequent offences have a penalty of INR 3000 and/or imprisonment of up to two years.
- What is the procedure to follow in case of drunk driving?
Traffic police officers install barricades in places where drunk driving cases are quite frequent. But these barricades can be installed in random locations as well. When the traffic police stop an individual, they are required to park their vehicle aside and coordinate with the officials. The police then ask some generic questions which the individual should answer honestly.
If the police suspect that the individual has been drinking, they are asked to use the breathalyzer. If the BAC value is above the set limit, the individual is taken to the nearest police station for further enquiry. Such a case is settled by paying the penalty charges.
However, if the individual has harmed people when driving drunk, the case might get complicated. It is treated as a criminal case, and the punishment can be more stringent. The individual might also be charged under Section 279 IPC for rash driving in such cases.