Author : V. Krishna Laasya
In today’s era, it is a common sight to encounter drunkards, either under the garb of social drunkenness or liquor- shop drunkenness.
This also has a huge impact on the crimes committed under the influence of alcohol as the severity of the punishment imposed on the offenders has relatively decreased.
The social outlook towards drinking must be brought down as it is only then that the concept of total alcohol prohibition takes its full effect.
The levels of high consumption of alcohol are interrelated to the increased death rates, motor vehicle accidents and other forms of criminal activity. The article aims at elucidating the reasons and effects as to why crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol and whether the impact of the same can be reduced if the alcoholism levels are detected in their early stages.
It is important to determine whether factors like minimum drinking age and the levels of prohibition in a society play a role in influencing the youth and thus impacting the whole society, in the long run. The effectiveness of the drinking habits vary according to the political and fiscal matters of the state and this must be regulated.
Such alcoholism can be reported either as an explanation for violent and erratic behavior or can be a “balancing out” feature of the negative impacts laid out on a family.
The objectives enlisted for the purpose of reducing the commission of crimes in this regard are-
- Identification of the origin of the problem- drivers/pedestrians (in case of motor vehicles) and peer drinking pressures.
- Conformation with the safety limitations prescribed by the Motor Vehicles Act
- Effects of the follow-up mechanisms drawn as per the rules and regulations laid down by the Central Government.
- Verify if the instructions drawn out are adhered to.
- Practicality of learner’s license and proper educational awareness.
- Administration and the community must be responsible towards the strict adherence of the rules laid down.
It is pertinent to find out whether the person in question is an alcohol abuser or a social drinker. Following criteria can be laid down for the same:
- The person’s general behavior in the society
- The drinking habits and pattern of the person
- Installing software that keeps track of the severity and frequency of alcohol related crimes of the person in question.
Sobriety Test- Implications and Efficiency
The sobriety test can be conducted to analyse whether the person is under the influence of alcohol or not. Alcohol is said to have the effect of mixing in blood at a relatively lower pace and so, the amounts can be found for 24 hours after consuming the same .
- Breath Alcohol Meter- These analysers are simple instruments that reflect the concentration of alcohol in the blood of the individual. However, these instruments are known to not produce results on repeated trials.
In India, the presence of 30 mg % of alcohol in blood is punishable, under the amended Motor Vehicles Act.
The burden of proof is on the driver to avert any accident caused due to the drunken behavior of either the pedestrian or the driver himself.
Non- drinking drivers may also face the brunt of the actions of drinking pedestrians causing a significant number of road accidents in the State .
- Saliva Sample- Taking a Saliva sample in place of a blood sample can be a recommended alternative practice as t involves application of sophisticated methodology. A simple and direct transaction in this regard is required to improve the current state of affairs in the State.
- Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase Test- This can be applied on all drivers at least once a year just to check on whether the drivers are becoming addicts or are getting drawn into an alcohol addiction.
Preventive Measures adopted
Drivers revealing presence of alcohol in their blood can prove to be either addict drives or leaning towards addiction. Alcohol addiction is a disease; however, it must not be viewed as a weapon to shun the alcoholics from being treated as humans in the society.
The drivers and road users must be identified in a scientific and a qualitative manner as attempt to figure out the rate of intoxication is very essential.
The reliability factors of various identification problems must be molded in such a way that the local drinking patterns and adjoining factors are taken into account.
Steps for Containment
To prevent the commission of alcohol influenced crimes, it is important that the
- The license is withheld or not granted to the candidates with addict problems.
- The crimes committed must be linked to the Aadhar Card for clear proof of offence
- Candidates with alcohol addict problems must be sent to rehabilitation or help out in a Non- Governmental Organisation to rediscover themselves and be free from such an addiction.
- Increase in the prison sentences for serious alcohol offences like murder of pedestrians or causing harm to the public places.
Today, Alcohol consumption is being accepted and promoted in the Indian Market owing to its revival of the Indian Economy and its drastic effect on increasing the income of the Government. However, this will also pave way to many more crimes, like accidents, domestic violence and criminal activities.
This must be immediately put in check. The aspects of it increasing trade must be overlooked as society’s welfare and goodwill is more important than the revenue from the sale.
 Carpenter C, Dobkin C in Alcohol Regulation and Crime. In P. cook, Ludwig and McCrary (Controlling Crime: strategies and tradeoffs. University of Chicago Press.
 Effectiveness and Effects of Alcohol Regulation: Evidence from India by Dara Lee Luca, Emily Owens and Gunjan Sharma, IZA Journal of Development and Mitigation Article Number: 4 (2019).
 For Past and Present State of the Sobriety Test under the Motor Vehicles Act, see <https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/254662/9/09_chapter%206.pdf>. last accessed July 24, 2020.
 Comment- Sabey and Codling (1975) at 6th International Conference on the topic of Alcohol and Traffic Safety