Drunk Driving Punishment in India
Author : Garima Sethi
In India the problem of drunk and driving is very much prevalent. People think that drinking and over speeding makes them look cool and have a good impression on the spectators. But actually they are risking their and other’s life. Under the influence of alcohol or drug the human brain does not works properly, there’s a blurred vision, slow reactions, slurred speech and many more problems are faced in which it is recommended that if someone is under the influence of any substance which results in loss of consciousness, he/ she should not drive.
Everyday India experiences more than 100 accidents which are a result of drinking and driving. There are rules and regulations made to monitor and curb done the accidents resulting from drinking and driving, but only making of laws is not sufficient, people should be abide by the laws and should work in order to avoid those accidents . The regulatory body which regulates the motor vehicle is Central Motor Vehicles Rules which came into effect on 1989, and Motor Vehicles Act 1988 which is recently amended has 2020. These are the regulatory authority which deal with offences done while driving.
ANALYSING THE OFFENCE
The offence of drinking and driving is regulated by section 185 of Motor Vehicles Act, which say that any person who is found driving or attempting to drive a vehicle under the influence of any drug or alcohol and the amount of alcohol is also mentioned as 30mg per 100ml, be imprisoned for a term which may extend to 6 months or fine which may extend to RS 2000 for the first time and if found to be a repeated offender within 3 years of the previous offence, he’ll be imprisoned for a term which may extend to 2 years or fine which may extend to RS 3000 or both. The section reads as follows :
- Driving by a drunken person or by a person under the influence of drugs.—Whoever, while driving, or attempting to drive, a motor vehicle,— 1[
(a) has, in his blood, alcohol exceeding 30 mg. per 100 ml. of blood detected in a test by a breath analyzer, or]
(b) is under this influence of a drug to such an extent as to be incapable of exercising proper control over the vehicle, shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both; and for a second or subsequent offence, if committed within three years of the commission of the previous similar offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to three thousand rupees, or with both. Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, the
drug or drugs specified by the Central Government in this behalf, by notification in the Official Gazette, shall be deemed to render a person incapable of exercising proper control over a motor vehicle.
There’s an explanation attached to the section which clarifies that for this section the drugs specified by the Central Government can by notification in Official Gazette shall be deemed to cause to become incapable of having proper control over the vehicle .
Punishment for drinking and driving
Section 185 clearly mentions that any person who is incapable of exercising proper control over the vehicle shall be punished for an imprisonment which may extend to 6 months when committed the offence for the first time. The same offence is committed within 3 years of the previous offence the person shall be liable for imprisonment which may extend to 2 years.
Penalty for drinking and driving
Section 185 has specifically clarified that if someone is found guilty of the offence of drinking and driving for the first time he/ she will be liable to pay an amount which may extend to RS 2000 and if he is found repeating the above-mentioned offence again within 3 years of the previous offence he/she will be liable to pay a sum which may extend to RS 3000.
Sometimes there’s the accussed is only liable for penalty or sometimes only punishment and at times he will be liable for both penalty and punishment, and the competent authority has all powers to decide that he shall be liable for both or any of them on the basis of the seriousness of the case and the situation that has taken due to drinking and driving.
Procedure to determine the content of alcohol
There’s no prescribed procedure which should be followed to determine the content of alchol in blood but in order to determine the amount of alchol a test is done which is known as “Breath test”in which the accussed is requested to blow in an instrument which after the breath is blown the instrument will automatically will tell the amount of alcoholic content in accussed’s body.
It is a handy instrument and almost all the traffic police officers are authorised to keep this instrument known as” Breathalyzer” used to determine the blood alcohol content.
In this article we were able to understand the nature of Section 185 of Motor Vehicles Act, the penalties and punishment if found guilty of the offence i.e. the offence of drinking and driving. Also the test which is conducted and how it determines the alcohol
level in accused’s body. We were also ae to understand that India is facing this problem of youth drinking and driving, at the end some measure which can be taken to reduce this offence are given as :
- Youth especially should made aware of the cons that they can face if they will be convicted under this offence .
- Late night alcohol shops shall discontinue to operate as it is seen that most of the cases of rash driving and drinking is seen at night.
- Government should take necessary actions to curb down the accidents related to and resulting of drinking and driving.